Customer Reviews: Catching Air: A Novel
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on May 10, 2014
I had the great privilege and pleasure of receiving an advanced copy of CATCHING AIR. This novel was my salvation while passing a wretched kidney stone! A page-turner, with rich, beautifully nuanced characters . . . Internationally bestselling author Pekkanen takes us on a lively literary adventure when brothers at odds, Rand and Peter, open a bed-and-breakfast in small-town Vermont with their wives, Alyssa and Kira.

Each character seems to have “fled” to this snowy, idyllic setting in search of tranquility and a fresh start. What ensues is far from serene. As sisters-in-law and veritable strangers, Alyssa and Kira, prepare for their first big booking—a winter wedding—a fragile and enigmatic young woman enters their lives. What or whom is Dawn Zukoski hiding from? Can their husbands, Rand and Peter, rebuild their fractured relationship after years of heartbreak and the loss of a parent? And will these sisters-in-law—who are so fundamentally different—find common ground to set this enormous endeavor in motion?

Hold onto your seats, folks! In typical Pekkanen fashion, there is more than meets the eye. CATCHING AIR delves into a multitude of resonant topics including: the intricacies of marriage, infertility, adoption, loss, self-sacrifice, familial resentment, career resurgence, forgiveness, and most significantly, CHANGE. I was so immersed in this sharply perceptive and poignant escapade, I didn’t want it to end.

Library Journal once refereed to Pekkanen as a “rising star” in women’s fiction—this is no longer the case. PEKKANEN IS A STAR. Her fifth novel is a true testament to her undeniable talent and is a must-read.
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on May 8, 2014
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I became a huge fan of Sarah Pekkanen right off the bat, and I’m so happy I loved her latest offering! Readers take note – don’t miss this one! This story is so complex with different characters and their issues, but Pekkanen writes with such an ease that I simply flowed along from page to page, feeling all the issues and emotions the characters do while being transported to their B&B in Vermont. From Dawn being on the run to Alyssa and her baby story to Kira and her unsettled past, I loved this book from page one till the end. A definite 5 star read!
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on May 9, 2014
Catching Air tells the story of two very different brothers and their very different wives who leave behind their lives to open a bed and breakfast together in Vermont. As is her wont, Pekkanen masterfully explores the lives, emotions, and motivations of her variety of characters, creating an affecting story peopled with characters that will stay with you. -Jen Karsbaek, Bloggers Recommend
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on January 26, 2015
Catching Air was described as a story about two couples who open a bed and breakfast in Vermont, but it was more about their inability to reproduce then the stresses of the new business venture. After reading and really liking the author's The Best Of Us, I expected the same strong characters and realistic dialog to showcase the issues of normal people. Although present, those writing traits were overshadowed by the personal problems of these two unhappy couples, which were a bit depressing.

I wouldn't have read this had the description been, well, honest. I wasn't interested in reading a book where the main characters struggle to conceive and then stress over whether or not they would be good parents. I wanted there to be more issues with running the hotel, but those were few and far between. Dawn, the accidental thief who hid out at the bed and breakfast was a weird character with an equally odd background. Although her arrival and attempt to escape the police was intended to heighten the suspense, it didn't. I was further disappointed when the big arch in the plot was obvious from the beginning.

This was amusing, but not what I was hoping for.
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A special thank you to the publisher, Atria Books, Washington Square Press and NetGalley for an ARC, in exchange for an honest review.

First and foremost, Sarah Pekkanen is one of my favorite authors, having read all her books (she has a clear understanding of the topics of women, especially the thirty-something crowd); whether single, married, or mothers. Her humor, in-depth research of subject matter, and insightfulness is reflective throughout her books, making her a fan of women, of all ages.

There are so many aspects to this book: The idyllic setting, a B&B, from Florida sunshine to Vermont snow, high powered attorney to running a B&B, two married couples (totally different), and a single gal running from her troubled past. What a journey!

Next, the B&B storyline most definitely drew me in. Having worked in the hotel business and a B&B consultant for years, with my share of innkeeping and event planning--- there is always high drama, especially when weddings or high stress special events are taking place. You pretty much live on high adrenaline around the clock, especially with Trip Advisor, social and mobile media integration, trying to please every guest--their wants, desires, and expectations are always high. Sarah did a great job highlighting some of the realistic day- to -day details (sometimes much worse; however, rewarding at times, as well), involved in the business of running and operating a B&B.

Could definitely relate to the characteristics of dyslexia, as well- (my ex-husband had three sons all with dyslexia)--they fit the profile perfectly with Rand. Good looking, charming, life of the party, and personality--compensating and always looking for adventure and running from responsibility and problems - so ADD. You have to love them; however, very frustrating at times.

However, the real magic and meat of "Catching Air" is the rich character development; their past, present--a solid background of each, in order to provide the reader with a deeper understanding of how they fit into the overall story line; how their insecurities, sense of adventure, responsibility, faults, strengths/weaknesses, past parent-child relationship, and loyalty played into their overall character and how their personalities changed and matured, throughout the novel as they intertwine, based on circumstances and new relationships.

I found the dynamics between Alyssa/Rand quite interesting. Here you have a free-spirited nice looking couple, both loving adventure, spontaneous, love of travel, non-career minded, and never committing to staying in one place very long (wow, wished I had the money to be them). Life is always on a high; not an ideal couple to buy a B&B. To see Rand/Alyssa relationship develop and change, as they embark upon parenthood and real responsibility. Alyssa has no problem changing; however, can Rand?

Ironically, Rand's brother Peter and his wife Kira, a more career-minded lawyer leaving Florida (my other connection), after her failed attempts and frustrations with becoming partner at her law firm - chooses to go with her husband, and live with a brother and sister in law they hardly know, to help run a B&B in Vermont. They on the other hand, are ideal for running an inn, as Kira possesses organizational and culinary skills, and Peter is very level headed, patient, nurturing, and more of a caregiver.

Then there is the relationship between the two brothers Peter/Rand and their past, as they dealt with their mom's cancer in two different ways which still has not been resolved. The relationship between Alyssa/Kira, the sister-in-law, which turned out ideal. They each are experiencing struggles and desires of becoming a mother and how their past and future dictates their choices. Also the dynamics of their childhood, being poor and financially secure has affected their choices in life. The two couples actually complement one another in different ways.

And, the icing on the cake, is the other main character, Dawn and how her life connects and their paths cross with the two married couples. Of course, she is running from the fiasco with her former company, an ex-boyfriend, a setup, and the insecurities of her past. It was exciting to see her character unfold, as she becomes part of these two families living under one roof, her strengths, and her part in operation of the inn. Also her solid relationship with Peter, and how she looks to him for guidance and strength.

Very interesting, to see how Alyssa goes from the free-spirited to the worrier. Kira goes from being the steady one, the rock, and glue to hold it all together to being spontaneous, and running away from the pressure.

Each character brings so much to the novel, and Sarah does a magnificent job of bringing these complex yet engaging characters together for a take away about importance of family, love, and communication. I could see a sequel here, as would like to see a continuation of these dynamic characters for at least a few more books!

"Catching Air would be a very interesting book for book clubs, and reading groups, to discuss further, the complex relationships of these two couples and Dawn; how they changed and matured from the beginning of the book to the end. Well done!
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on May 19, 2014
Another winner from Sarah Pekkanen! Each of the female leads has an original, unique voice and their individual back stories are woven into the narrative so that their decisions, actions and motivations are authentic and realistic. "Skipping a Beat" is still my favorite Pekkanen novel, but this one is a close second!
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on May 7, 2014
Catching Air is the story of thirty-somethings and their tangled relationships. The setting is a bed-and-breakfast (B-and-B) located in snowy Vermont. Kira and husband Peter step into a new life co-owning the B-and-B with Peter's brother Rand and his wife Alyssa. The sisters-in-law have their own reasons for starting over in Vermont. The quiet place helps Alyssa recover from the news that she can't bear children. Kira is tired of working as a lawyer. And it seems that employee Dawn is not only hiding something but also hiding from someone.

Sarah Pekkanen is an international bestselling author for good reason. Whenever I see a book written by her, I add it to my reading list with no hesitation. Catching Air has the same formula as Skipping a Beat, These Girls, The Best of Us and The Opposite of Me. It is relatable and delves into issues that most women encounter in their lives like fertility, job security and heartbreak. Do not pass up this good-for-lounge-chair-reading chick lit novel.

To author Sarah Pekkanen: Please keep penning these heartwarming deeper than the average chick lit novels for my reading pleasure. I hope to see these characters make a cameo in a future book(s).

Literary Marie of Precision Reviews
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on August 11, 2014
This novel grabbed me from the beginning. The characters are all so interesting to see how they all come to blend, although from different walks of life. It was like watching lives unfold before your eyes. How changes sometime are for the best and also how people can be there for you when you need them. I just want to go to that B&B and stay there , meet all of them and sit and have a cup of tea while it snows out !!!
Will most definitely read this author again , wish she'd write more and more about all these people so we can follow up on their lives Remember they say be careful what you wish for, you may get it !!!!
Don't pass this one up you'll be sorry, grab it !!!.
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on July 27, 2014
This one was an easy read that I found quite enjoyable. I liked the idea of the B&B and the gal who was a good cook and reading about her interesting and delicious sounding recipes and foods that she served. A stranger comes into the mix also and creates another diversion. It was fun! Held my interest and read it in three days! A fun summer read...
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on June 27, 2014
Sarah Pekkanen just keeps improving as a writer. I read this book in a couple of sitting, thoroughly enjoying her deft touch with two couples problems and their attempt to resolve them by starting over in the country. There was also an added element of suspense that kept me racing towards the end. Recommend.
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