Top positive review
Great Story About an Imperfect Family
on June 21, 2014
I picked up Chang-rae Lee's Aloft after reading one of his newer books and hearing that his older books were even better. I was not disappointed as Aloft is a well-written account of a fractured but interesting Italian-American family struggling to stay connected in an increasingly complicated world. The book is not a fast-moving one; so don't expect a massive page-turner. But if you stick with it, you will enjoy Lee's exquisite writing style and deep description of the interesting characters found in Aloft.
The story is about the Battle family as told by Jerry Battle. Jerry is basically retired and spends his time in Long Island, NY flying his single engine plane and ruminating on the vicissitudes of life. His first wife died many years ago and his Hispanic-American long-time girlfriend Rita moved out and is now living with his former nerdy lawyer classmate and his Ferrari collection. Jerry's son Jack is running the family landscaping business (into the ground literally) and his daughter Theresa is pregnant and about to be married to one Asia-American name Peter who is basically an out of work writer. Jerry misses Rita and tries to win her back in a series of ways including one that is fairly comical (I'll let you read all about that). Theresa's health is failing. And to top it of, Jerry's father--Pop--is ensconced in a nursing home while bellowing out his views on life and the women surrounding him in the home.
Quite a good book that explores a variety of cultures melding together into a loosely affiliated family. I highly recommend it for fans of Chang-rae Lee as well as anyone who wants a good but not very fast read.