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The Reluctant Hero Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
Prickly, scruffy, grumpy, beset by financial woes and painful disappointments, Parnell Stillman becomes, if possible, even more disgruntled upon learning that the group of social workers he thought were his passengers are, in fact, one pretty, but quarrelsome, young woman and a bunch of annoying kids. That they actually might touch his heart is something he absolutely will not acknowledge or tolerate.
Once the flight is under way, things go from bad to worse. Even Parnell's skill and talent cannot save the plane from the ravages of a violent and unpredictable storm over the Sierras. With severe damage to the small aircraft, there is only one direction they can go: down.
Author Jackie Weger has written a wonderful story – at once nail-biting and heartwarming – full of vivid characters who face all manner of challenges, both physical and emotional. Parnell and Rebecca may be difficult and stubborn, but they also have charm, courage, perseverence, and unselfish hearts. (I was particularly touched by Parnell's willingness to go out in the swirling snow to retrieve a child's imaginary pet.) The couple reminded me of younger versions of Charlie Allnut and Rose Sayer from "The African Queen." The children, especially self-reliant and inventive Santee, undaunted Nicholas, and needy little Molly, could find their way into the hardest heart. They are fully-developed characters who add urgency, poignance, and humor to the story.
Ms. Weger has also completely realized a setting – the harsh, beautiful, wintry Sierra Nevada wilderness – so intense, gripping, and powerful that it's a character all by itself. The story is actually physically uncomfortable to read in spots because the reader is so completely transported into that cold, unforgiving country. Parnell's harrowing swim through an ice-choked lake to retrieve supplies from the half-submerged plane is almost unbearable. Be sure you have blankets, hot chocolate, and a crackling fire going before reading. You've been warned!
A minor caveat or two: Although the story is ostensibly set in the present day, there is a pervasive nostalgic feel to ON A WING AND A PRAYER. It seems set in an earlier, simpler time – one free from computerized and regulated everything. While a little puzzling at first, that ultimately didn't bother me, as most of the story takes place in the wilderness. There are a few print glitches here and there, but nothing that detracts from the reading experience.
I highly recommend this novel for its gripping story, vivid and relatable characters, heartwarming emotion, humor, and (even though we know where the story's going) real – sometimes harrowing – suspense!
⚠ #REVIEW ⚠
> > Judging a Book by it's Cover < <
Eye-catching composition with strong title font and color. Synopsis is interesting.
> > Looking Deeper < <
POV ~> Third-person
The format and writing style is an overhead, free-for-all perspective as opposed to a more common narrative chronicling one or the other at a time. While not a style I'm accustomed to, I found the pages were flying by at a quick and fluid pace.
I felt that this story had a lot of Beauty and Beast's influence to it. She found him gruff and unmannered, the children thought he looked like a burly hobo - though it was said that he grew out his scruff to hide his attractive dimples. He'd been burned by a woman, so thinks they are all coy tricksters, trying to seduce and lure him to his demise. A downed plane, blizzard, makeshift lean-to, and dilapidated old cabin later, Parnell and Rebecca, along with five odd little orphans start somehow getting along and ... falling in love? What a joke! Sex scenes were implied and made you question both of their sanities.
Oh - but then one of them would speak or think and I no longer believed the setting fit modern day, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, United States. I'm trying to decide if their name-calling would have been better suited for Little House or Little Women. It was all really rather ridiculous. I felt no real connection between Parnell and Rebecca - at all - and only their desperation in the situation could have brought them together. The kids, I liked better; Santee, Jonesy, Yancy (and Scrappy), Molly, and Nicolas were the most enjoyable part to the book and they were cheated a happy conclusion in the end.
I hate to say this, but... although the premise of the story could become a blockbuster hit, the delivery was horribly outdated. Parnell and Rebecca's constant sniping and name-calling, particularly in front of the children, was utterly distasteful. I'd have a hard time recommending it as written.
Rating: [PG-13] ~ Score: 3.45 ~ Stars: 3.5, if I could
⭐ ⭐ **** Disclosure of Material: I purchased a copy of this book from Amazon and am voluntarily leaving unbiased and unsolicited feedback. I was not asked, encouraged, or required to leave a review - nor was I compensated in any way. I am posting this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising". ***** ⭐ ⭐
I made a big mistake after very much enjoying Finding Home and then buying this. The characters are just a repeat. Annoying but lovable kids, hero whose experience with one woman has made him a misogynist and an apparent anti-hero, heroine who cannot open her mouth without snapping at someone. And they argue and argue and, boy, do they argue, and enjoy it. Why consecutively publish stories with such similar characters?
Plus it's just silly. The author can't seem to decide if it's set in the 1880s ("foundlings" for goodness sake!), the 1950s (rough and tumble pilots fly anything anywhere in any conditions) or current (I think). The plane is clearly not airworthy, the "airline" has only one plane and one pilot, yet it's flying on government contract, and yet again, in complete contradiction, the hero is worried about certification to continue flying on contract after the crash-landing. And, in snow on a frozen lake, he's off to go swimming - hypothermia be damned. That's when I gave up on the book and also on the author (who can write well when she puts her mind to it).
Most recent customer reviews
Happy to have read. Did not expect the ending. Does not take long it read.
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