Thursday, October 22, 2009

Taking Flight

This looked like such a promising novel when I picked it up.  It was in the bargain section of Chapters, and I had been pleased with the other novels that I bought with it.  The premise is pretty interesting: bored wife and mother, Julia, chaperones a college trip to Greece as part of a course that she's teaching.  She is excited to get away and enjoy some freedom, and also plans on doing some flirting with the male teacher accompanying them.  It doesn't go quite as planned, and indeed the whole trip to Greece is condensed into about two chapters.  It gets interesting on the flight home, when she meets an archeologist who is certain that he has found Atlantis and is presenting his findings at a conference the next day.

They talk, they find common interests, they land back in the US and Julia decides to attend his conference rather than go home to her husband and children.  She thinks it will just be an extra day, but that turns into two, which turns into him asking her to leave her family and stay with him.

I lost interest once the affair started.  Kaufman just didn't make it seem believable.  I think she wanted to make Julia seem like such a sheltered person, and that when she meets Ted she becomes liberated, but I don't think she focused enough on the emotional side of the story.  I actually skimmed the last 70 or so pages because I just lost interest.  Maybe because I couldn't relate to the characters in the least, I couldn't get as invested in reading the whole novel.  It wasn't poorly written - the language and narrative were accessible and in depth.  I think it was the story development that was flawed.

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