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Flying in Place

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  329 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
Once in a while, a first novel arrives like a bolt of lightning, commanding attention with an explosion of power, grace, and light. Flying in Place is such a book. As unflinching as The Lovely Bones, as startling as Beloved, it is a work to bear witness--with bravery and compassion--for the experience of millions of readers and their loved ones.
Emma is twelve, a perfectly
Paperback, 192 pages
Published May 1st 2005 by Tor Books (first published 1992)
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Fauziyyah Arimi
Aug 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sebenarnya, saya membaca buku ini di bulan Agustus lalu. Saya ingat membaca novel ini sekali duduk, sebelum tidur. Buku ini tipikal buku yang akan membuatmu susah bernapas. Saya ingat, setelah menyelesaikannya, saya mengupdate review singkat di Goodreads dan berkata seperti ini:

When we’re outsider we thought, upon hearing the child sexual abuse crime, that it was horrible. but placing our self as insider, which i thought was the book’s intention, it feels terrifying.

Lalu kenapa kalau novel ini b
Jul 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I first read this book over a decade ago and was struck by its poignancy and beauty. I recently reread it and am still amazed; both that it is a first novel, and that so much truth comes packed into a such a small book. Twelve year old Emma fears the "breathing" that comes every morning at dawn, when her father sneaks into her room. She can tell no one about these nightly visits: not her mother, who is too fragile, not her friend Jane, with her unconventional family and brazen behavior. The only ...more
Jul 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Brutal and visceral, oh god, but an extraordinary book. Palwick crafts rape and recovery with pitiless compassion and pulls none of her punches. The story is told with grace, but walks the line between horrific and absolutely heartbreaking. I finished the last third of it sobbing. Highly recommended.

Consider companion reads:
* Deerskin by Robin McKinley
* Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
* The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
* "Allerleirauh" by Jane Yolen, from The Armless Maiden: And Other Tales for
Jul 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic first novel about a girl's experiences being neglected by her mother and abused by her father. The difficult subject matter is handled gracefully without glossing over the horror of it, and the story weaves in elements of mystery and the paranormal (the main character meets a ghost). Beautiful writing; I get more out of this novel with each reread.
Breon Randon
I picked up this book on a whim. It was for cheap in the Google bookstore and I'm always up for a quick read. And quick it is- I read this short little gem in one sitting. I hesitate to label it as a fantasy book despite it's winning fantasy prizes, but my initial attraction to the book was the ghost story aspect, so I guess it's a good place to start.

oh, and SPOILERS and stuff.

Emma seems like your normal, run of the mill pre-teen. She's a bit chubby and nerdy, but she has a good head on her sho
Jul 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-awards, 2009
Flying In Place won The Crawford Award for Susan Palwick in 1993. The Crawford Award is presented to books falling into the fantasy genre. While it's true that there are aspects of this book that qualify it for the fantasy category, I wouldn't necessarily have categorized it that way.
Flying In Place is the story of Emma and her family: her surgeon father, her school teacher mother, and her sister who died before Emma was born. From all indications Emma lives in a normal family situation, but in
Feb 03, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
Siiiigh. So the last Susan Palwick book I had left to read, and it's one of _those_ books.

It has a framing story, so while most of the book is told from the point of view of a 12 year old, it may not technically be a YA book.

Main character is sexually abused by her father. And floats out of her body to have chats with her dead sister. And if you're surprised by the things that are revealed through the course of the book, you really shouldn't be.

But, hey, the dead sister is named Ginny. And the n
Pooja Patel
Feb 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I picked this book up at a Used bookstore on a whim and it turned out to be fantastic. Without getting into too much detail, the main character is sexually abused by her father (which the reader discovers very early in the book). Though many euphemisms are used and thus the novel is not very graphic, it is still difficult to read at times because of the sensitive subject matter. However, that didn't stop me from finishing this novel in one sitting. It is quite short, but it is packed with an ama ...more
Mar 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I just opened the book in the middle to flip through it when it arrived in the mail, nex thing I know, I read from that random page to the very end, and then from the beginning to the end. I read strictly in the scifi/fantasy genre, and dislike serious or depressing books, but this was really good - and not sad or depressing. I picked it up because of Palwick's "Shelter" (which is scifi) - great prose, absolutely engaging quality with words, and an amazing ability to make me relate and care abou ...more
This is a chilling book about abuse; it's hard to write about effectively, was hard to read, and I'm sure I'm not going to do it justice. Teenage Emma is being systematically abused by her surgeon father; she escapes his regular morning visits by leaving her body behind, separating her mind so that she doesn't have to acknowledge what's happening. One morning, she sees the ghost of her dead sister, Ginny, flying around the ceiling; Emma begins to see and talk to Ginny regularly, and the visits b ...more
Matt Weber
Apr 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a simple ghost story about a young woman dealing with sexual abuse inflicted by her father. It's short, but not obviously shorter than it needs to be; there are some oversimplifications of character, a couple of scenes that are a little too on point, but I think no real slights. I'm not sure the YA market would tolerate such frank treatment of sexual violence, but nonetheless it is a YA book, and I think most readers of the narrator's age (about 12) are tough enough to take it. I will be ...more
I read this book when I was in Grade 9. I remember walking through the library and a couple of my peers were interested in reading it when I told them that it was about child molestation. They were grossed out. But I had a feeling that I could like it if it was written well. And it was.

Flying in Place is such a good book. Palwick's characterization of Emma is well-written. A girl who doesn't believe she's worthy except only to her father, especially with her dead sister Ginny who her mother stil
Joe English
Dec 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Recent events in Ferguson had me discouraged about the state of the human race; "I know!", I thought; "I'll read something by Susan Palwick. That always restores my faith in humanity!"

Boy, did I ever pick the wrong novel :-)

This was a tough read, but worth it. By the end my faith in humanity was restored after all. Yes, there are monsters, but there are also heroes, and this book has them both. I think it would make a great YA novel; the subject matter is brutal but not at all graphic -- Palwick
Jul 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is an unusual book - combining fantasy with a social issue, which is very intriguing. I had wanted to read the book because the author has a wonderful blog about her work as a hospital chaplain.

The end of the book stretches what really happens in these kinds of situations. Not to reveal spoilers, but these kinds of family situations are never fully resolved - people stay in this situation, and the victims feel guilty for creating trouble. The action packed nature of the end can make one fee
Jul 24, 2013 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dawn Albright
Feb 22, 2013 rated it liked it
I think this book suffered because I read her works in reverse order. This was her first novel, and it struck me as ordinary and predictable compared to her later works. The characterizations are well done, as always. The manipulative, abusive father is well drawn. She has a talent for unpleasant characters. I am sure this puts off a lot of readers who aren't willing to read about "unsympathetic" characters, but I think that's their loss.
Harper Jean
A bracing and ultimately deeply moving first novel. I was at first puzzled and a bit put off by a premise that combines elements of the fantastic with the reality of child sexual abuse. But Palwick manages to tell a compelling ghost story that is also a story of surviving and overcoming abuse, without trivializing either. Compelling enough that I read it in one sitting, on a bus without working reading lights, by the light of my cellphone.
Apr 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I think if you liked Lovely Bones, you'll like this book. In the world of young adult literature where the literature reflects the lives of teenagers, this book qualifies. As with most books today, realism brings with it some foul language, but nothing gratuitous. I can see how this book would be therapeutic. Very well written.
Sean Talbot
Sep 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
one of the best books I have read that has a very sad issue that unfortunately happens. I do love the fact that she tackled the difficult issue of child abuse. it was very disturbing how she managed that and still managed to show what a child who was abused could do qith her life. one of the best books. too bad i can't fins more of susan palwick books as i loved her writing style
Mar 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
read in one setting.
a very quick, dark, read that is all too relatable to anyone who has experienced childhood trauma. A few moments were so spot on that it took an overwhelmingly real hit to my stomach. I didn't plan on finishing this book in one night but I found myself unable to stop. The story flows seamlessly and poetically with no chapter breaks and relentless momentum.
May 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I read this quickly. I felt is was more of a survival story than science fiction.
There was a ghost element but very appropiate to the story. And who's to say under the kind of conditions Emma was under, that "ghosts" don't exist. I wouldn't recommend this book to everyone. The abuse Emma suffered was awful and it wasn't easy to read.
Apr 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
I've never sat and read a book from start to finish but I did with this one! It's written as one long dialogue (it does have breaks easy enough to put down and pick back up) and I found that I wanted to find out what happens to this poor child - victim of child abuse. It's a disgusting topic but a story of survival - very good!
Jan 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
its more of a 3.5, but it was an easy read and a good story. Palwick was really great at telling the story from a 12 yr olds perspective. i wish the ending would have been better. justice served. but oh well. again, it was .99.
Aileen Harkwood
Dec 18, 2012 rated it liked it
A solid book on child abuse for its era, but takes a more intellectual "this is important, pay attention" approach, than one that touches the reader on an emotional, instinctive level. Would have preferred less of a fictional lecture on incest.
Nov 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book turned me onto a different style fantasy and deals with subjects that are extremely difficult. I loved the style and the fact that she made her main character into someone who cold overcome what happened to her but also still be human about it.
Jun 28, 2011 added it
Recommends it for: Everyone
This was a very detailed, disturbing, honest book. I enjoyed it quite a bit! I thought that the effects of the father's abuse were documented in such a way that you couldn't quite tell how emotionally upset she was until you analyzed the other characters...
Mar 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This was an exteremly powerful book. It is not one of those book that is amazing because it is a wonderful read, it is amazing because it sends out a message. The message in this book is that child abuse happens, even in the most unlikely places.
Sean Talbot
Aug 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read this book years ago I always come back to it.

this book is about a horrific topic and it shows so much about desperate situations.

Emma the main character in this book is a young girl who really is sweet but she has a secret that almost destroys her.
Jun 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A compelling story that I couldn't put down with vivid imagery of the haunting story it conveyed. People are so resilient in spite of the damage done by our parents or people we love.
May 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
A surprise favorite that I read in college. It's been out of print for years, which is a shame.
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Susan Palwick is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she teaches writing and literature. Her first novel, Flying in Place (1992), won the Crawford Award for Best First Fantasy Novel, presented annually by the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts.
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