Go to Homepage   Rita Murphy: Night Flying

 

Crescent Blues Book ViewsLaurel Leaf Books/Random House (Paperback), ISBN 0-440-22837-9
As far back as ancient times, human beings longed for the magic to soar through skies like a bird. The ability to fly at night constitutes a common, recurring theme in dreams and folklore alike.

Book: Rita Murphy, night flyingIn Night Flying, the phenomenon of night flight isn't fantasy, but a realistic, hereditary trait that can be passed down through generations. In a pleasing blend of realism and fantasy, first-time young adult novelist Rita Murphy tells the origins of one family of night flyers. The story unfolds through the thoughtful and compelling first-person narrative of Georgia Louisa Hansen (the youngest and only sixth-generation member of the Hansen family).

In an attempt to come to terms with her family of women and her own role within it, Georgia sifts through the Hansen histories. Beginning with her great-great-great Albanian grandmother, Louisa Carmelina Stravona Hansen, Georgia uncovers the old rules that continue to restrict the family's current generation and their lifestyles. Unlike her predecessors, Georgia questions these past dictates, disagrees with and disobeys her elders.

Book: Rita Murphy, black angelsThe nearer Georgia gets to her sixteenth birthday -- a coming of age for fliers -- the closer she gets to the truth behind her family, the motivation behind her domineering grandmother, the secret kept by her quiet mother and the reason her family never mentions her Aunt Carmen. As Georgia delves further into the mechanics of the relationships, she notes discrepancies and omissions, mainly concerning Aunt Carmen. In this blank space lies the key to unlock Georgia's past and her family's future.

While differing in some aspects from other works classified as "magical realism," and lying on the "low end" of the literary spectrum, Night Flying constructs the essential textual space that makes unlikelihoods possible and believable. Ordinary, yet magical, Night Flying presents a wonderful introduction to magical realism for young adults and adults alike.

Lynne Remick

Click here to share your views.