Julie's Reviews > Flight Patterns

Flight Patterns by Karen   White
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really liked it
bookshelves: e-book, contemporary-fiction, southern, overdrive, family

Flight Patterns by Karen White is a 2016 Penguin/NAL publication.

Another fantastic southern novel from Karen White!

This story has so many layers, my mind is still grappling with all the details and flourishes.

When Georgia Chambers, an antiques specialist, is commissioned to find pieces in a unique china set, bearing a bee pattern, it sparks a long forgotten memory. She believes she has seen a piece just like it in her childhood home. But, returning to Florida to search for it will open up a Pandora’s box of old hurts and deeply buried family secrets.

James Graf is at a crossroads in his life, so when he meets Georgia and learns she may actually own a piece of his grandmother’s china set, he insists on traveling with her to Florida and nothing she says will change his mind. But, once they arrive, James learns why Georgia has stayed away for so many years, as his search stirs up a maelstrom within the Chambers home.

Maisey is horrified when she learns her sister, Georgia is coming back home after a ten year absence. Georgia had promised to stay away, but now all the pain and heartache that lies between them rises to the surface, threatening to engulf them, and it looks as though nothing can heal the rift which seems to only grow wider as time passes.

However, Maisey and Georgia will discover their grandfather, who runs an apiary, and their mother, Birdie, who is mentally unstable, are harboring huge secrets in their hearts and Georgia’s return, along with the elusive china piece, and a startling new development, will dislodge those secrets, causing a domino effect and ripples and waves to cascade over them, changing their family dynamic forevermore.

Wow! Talk about drama! This book is chock full of tumultuous human emotions, creating an atmosphere akin to the change in barometric pressure right before a particularly nasty storm. The tension is thick enough to cut with a knife, but there is also a mystery afoot, and it’s a doozy!

The humid, balmy, Florida setting only served to contribute to the heaviness hanging in the air, the crackle of suspense, and the anticipation of seeing how everything will unfold, fall apart, or rebuild itself.

Maisey is a complicated character, and despite knowing about her grief and suffering, she was a very difficult person to like. Even after all was said and done, I don’t know that I ever really forgave her, especially after all the facts came in. Sadly, Maisey’s lack of character development and her inability to let go of all that anger, even after everything came to a head, was very disappointing, and was the one downfall in the story.

Georgia was also a complex character, but I sympathized with her more and admired her grit, her sacrifices, and her willingness to fight for her family, even if she was often aloof and wasn’t always nice in places where I really wanted and needed her to be.

James is an absolute dream, the voice of reason, patient, and unbelievably understanding and insightful,even while he grapples with his own demons. I really liked him, and feel like his presence was a real asset, with Karma playing a big part in putting him and Georgia together.

The secondary characters also play enormous roles, and are the key to unlocking the mystery that has held the family captive for so long.

The facts about bees that began every chapter was informative and interesting, but also paralleled the tone and context of the chapter to come. I don’t know how the author manages this, but she does an amazing job of connecting the actions of the bees to the characters or the events taking place.

I can’t say enough nice things about Karen White and the way she sucks the reader into her carefully crafted web, the way she lures you deeper into the complexities of family and small southern townships, holding you spellbound from start to finish, while dropping bombshells, and emotional twists on you, until you can barely stand the intensity.

This is another well written and explosive family story, filled with flawed and damaged people, but people who are family, who love each other, who have each other’s backs, who fight for them, and love them beyond reason in spite of it all.


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Reading Progress

September 25, 2016 – Shelved
September 25, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
September 25, 2016 – Shelved as: e-book
September 25, 2016 – Shelved as: contemporary-fiction
September 25, 2016 – Shelved as: southern
September 25, 2016 – Shelved as: overdrive
September 25, 2016 – Shelved as: family
October 10, 2016 – Started Reading
October 13, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-13 of 13 (13 new)

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message 1: by Kamala (new)

Kamala great review!


message 2: by StMargarets (new)

StMargarets Sounds really interesting. Great review!


message 3: by Christy (new)

Christy Great review!


Julie Kamala wrote: "great review!"

Thanks, Kamala!!


Julie StMargarets wrote: "Sounds really interesting. Great review!"

Thank you, St.Margarets!!


Julie Christy wrote: "Great review!"

Thank you, Christy!!


message 7: by Dorine (new) - added it

Dorine Awesome review, Julie. I have been so curious about this one. Have to make sure I get it now. :)


Julie Dorine wrote: "Awesome review, Julie. I have been so curious about this one. Have to make sure I get it now. :)"

Thank you, Dorine! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


Julie Stephanie wrote: "Sounds great, Julie! Nice review!!"

Thank you, Stephanie!!


message 10: by Carol (new) - added it

Carol I give this review 1 more star than I give the book! I was going to leave a review but yours was so "spot on" I couldn't possibly say it better! You highlighted every thing I loved and/or hated about it.

Great job! I wish you'd read and review everything I plan to read!


Julie Carol wrote: "I give this review 1 more star than I give the book! I was going to leave a review but yours was so "spot on" I couldn't possibly say it better! You highlighted every thing I loved and/or hated abo..."

Carol!! Wow! Thank you for your kind words!! You made my day!! I'm sure the author would appreciate your personal thoughts on the book, too. Karen's books have a tendency to get my emotions fired up. LOL! Happy reading!!


Cindie Just reading it now. Your summary is spot on without giving anything away! Nice job! 👍


Julie Cindie wrote: "Just reading it now. Your summary is spot on without giving anything away! Nice job! 👍"

Thank you, Cindie!! 💕


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