J.D. Robb discussion

The Flight Attendant
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Monthly Book Discussion Library > The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian - May 2018 (Spoiler Zone)

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message 1: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Hoover (sandrahoover) | 10535 comments Mod
Our May Book of the Month Poll winner is The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian. We invite everyone to join our discussion. Open discussion begins on the 15th.

Cassandra Bowden is no stranger to hungover mornings. She's a binge drinker, her job with the airline making it easy to find adventure, and the occasional blackouts seem to be inevitable. She lives with them, and the accompanying self-loathing. When she awakes in a Dubai hotel room, she tries to piece the previous night back together, already counting the minutes until she has to catch her crew shuttle to the airport. She quietly slides out of bed, careful not to aggravate her already pounding head, and looks at the man she spent the night with. She sees his dark hair. His utter stillness. And blood, a slick, still wet pool on the crisp white sheets. Afraid to call the police--she's a single woman alone in a hotel room far from home--Cassie begins to lie. She lies as she joins the other flight attendants and pilots in the van. She lies on the way to Paris as she works the first class cabin. She lies to the FBI agents in New York who meet her at the gate. Soon it's too late to come clean-or face the truth about what really happened back in Dubai. Could she have killed him? If not, who did?

message 2: by Jonetta (last edited May 13, 2018 02:36PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 13747 comments Mod
Yay! I will lead this one.

Dubai, UAE
New York, New York
Rome, Italy
Richmond, Kentucky

Table of Contents
Part One: Brace for Impact
Chapters 1-6

Part Two: Burn the Carbons
Chapters 7-15

Part Three: Act Like a Grown-Up
Chapters 16-20

Part Four: Nobody’s Pushover, Nobody’s Foe
Chapters 21-36

Epilogue: Remember That Person You Wanted to Be? There’s Still Time

Character List
(view spoiler)

Spoiler Info
(view spoiler)

Charlene (charlenethestickler) | 734 comments Ordered from library. I've never read this author before.

Patty | 522 comments I ordered this last month when it was on the April vote and I'm still #6 on 27 copies.

Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 13747 comments Mod
Charlene wrote: "Ordered from library. I've never read this author before."

Me either but I own a lot of the books!

Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 13747 comments Mod
Patty wrote: "I ordered this last month when it was on the April vote and I'm still #6 on 27 copies."

Let's hope those five ahead of you get crackin'!

message 7: by Susan (new)

Susan (cruelshoes) | 526 comments ordered from Library hopefully will get it soon

Lynne | 429 comments I read the first 9 chapters of the hardcover book from my library before I had to turn it back in a couple weeks ago. Now I have it on my Overdrive bookshelf! So happy to get back to it

message 9: by Jo Ann (new) - added it

Jo Ann (jojog) | 349 comments Ordered this book from the library back when it was on the April ballot...still waiting for a copy.

Charlene (charlenev) | 289 comments I read this over the weekend...looking forward to chatting about it!

Charlene (charlenethestickler) | 734 comments My copy is waiting at the library. I have a couple other books to read before this one, but I will get to it!

Lynne | 429 comments I'm reading it now, very suspenseful!

Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 13747 comments Mod
I just finished this afternoon. Are we ready to discuss or need we wait a couple of days?

message 14: by Susan (new)

Susan (cruelshoes) | 526 comments still have not gotten my copy. keeping fingers crossed it comes in soon to the library

Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 13747 comments Mod
Well, let’s get started.

This is now a spoiler zone. For those who haven’t yet read the book, do not read messages beyond this point.

Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 13747 comments Mod
I’ll ask the most obvious question...was Cassie a sympathetic character?

Charlene (charlenev) | 289 comments Jonetta wrote: "I’ll ask the most obvious question...was Cassie a sympathetic character?"

hmm...I thought about this quite a bit as I read, and I think I've concluded that no, she's not a sympathetic character. She's a train-wreck, a fascinating one that you can't take your eyes off...turning pages just to see what self-destructive thing she'll do next. She kept me intrigued and entertained, but I didn't sympathize.

Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 13747 comments Mod
My feelings exactly, Charlene. Even at the end, I still saw the same signs and character flaws. But, she seemed devoted to her daughter.

There seemed to be a turning point for her, when she first started drinking and had that piña colada. I’m unsure why her sister dislikes her so much as her life was devoted to getting her out of foster care.

Charlene (charlenev) | 289 comments You're absolutely right, Jonetta...she did seem to be devoted to her daughter. It felt like her daughter could be the responsibility that turned her around.

I couldn't quite figure out the sister either. I think she was reacting to the drinking, and ignoring everything else.

Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 13747 comments Mod
Did you ever suspect Elena was a double agent?

Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 13747 comments Mod
Why was Alex Sokolov killed?

Charlene (charlenev) | 289 comments Jonetta wrote: "Did you ever suspect Elena was a double agent?"

Nope...that one took me by surprise!

Patty | 522 comments Did you suspect Buckley? I don't remember if they ever said why Alex was killed. Did they think he was a US or Russian spy?

Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 13747 comments Mod
No, Buckley took me completely by surprise. I had begun to think about him being more in Cassie's life but not like that.

The only thing I remember being said about Alex was that he planned to sell the stealth secrets to the Russians so the old guard and Elena knew he needed to die. I don't think he was a spy...just mercenary.

Charlene (charlenev) | 289 comments Jonetta wrote: "No, Buckley took me completely by surprise. I had begun to think about him being more in Cassie's life but not like that.

The only thing I remember being said about Alex was that he planned to sel..."

I'll echo that ...Buckley completely stunned me!

message 26: by Jo Ann (new) - added it

Jo Ann (jojog) | 349 comments Finally got my library copy! Better late than never :)

Charlene (charlenethestickler) | 734 comments I've just received my library copy, too. I'll try to get to it, but it might roll over into early June. Sorry. This month both of my group reads came late.

Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 13747 comments Mod
We can continue discussing as more finish the book.

Lynne | 429 comments I really enjoyed this book. I thought for sure she would get herself killed, Buckley was a surprise.

Lynne | 429 comments favorite quote: Remember That Person You Wanted to Be? There’s Still Time

Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 13747 comments Mod
It’s the one Cassie kept repeating.

What did you think of the ending?

Charlene (charlenethestickler) | 734 comments I just finished reading this book. I almost gave up on Cassie's self-destructive drunken bouts, but since I don't give up books easily, I finally went back to it. I'm glad I read it.

I certainly didn't get Elena as having been turned by the USA. Buckley was a real surprise, too.

I would have enjoyed the ending if we had been given the idea that Cassie was pregnant; it would still have been a mystery (perhaps) who the father was. Then the daughter's name would provide the answer.

Perhaps a female author might have given more details about the end of the story. I did like that Cassie managed to stop drinking abruptly, before the epilogue.

Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 13747 comments Mod
I found it interesting that until that pregnancy, Cassie couldn’t find a reason to stop drinking or any reason to truly live a less reckless life. That baby saved her.

message 34: by KJ (last edited Sep 24, 2018 11:24PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

KJ Engel | 1 comments Though this is a pretty good read I am just amazed that nobody noticed or remarked on the basic flaw in the premise for the plot. Cassie panicked and after wiping down everything she left the room walking to the elevator bank. Now this is where the surveillance cameras in the hallways would have picked her up. All big hotels have cameras all over the place including several in the hallways. This is a basic, possibly purposeful, omission in the plot. The police in Dubai would have checked the video footage of all the cameras right away and the whole thing would have taken a different turn from then on. Although her identity would probably not have been known before the flew to Paris or even New York, this would have led to her being questioned by the FBI much sooner and made her a suspect. There definitely would have been some finger prints left in the room. So a check would have revealed rather quickly that she was there. Next question: why was she there and when and why did she wipe down the room. This would have made here a suspect. Now if she became a suspect the FBI would have every right to take her finger prints and even DNA, no matter what her lawyer said. Additionally, her finger prints would have been on file as all airline employees have been registered with prints and a cross-check with the prints from Dubai would have revealed her identity quickly. So, actually they would not even need to ask her. As far as I know if a U.S. citizen kills another U. S. citizen, even abroad, they will be prosecuted in the U. S. I believe even if the victim is not a U. S. national they will be prosecuted here.
I think the twists about Elena having been turned by the FBI or that Buckley was an FSB operative are normal for a thriller.

But a big letdown was the ending which came rather abruptly. That her friend and co-worker and her husband were then uncovered as mules is something that seems so tacked on haphazardly without any hint or indication in the whole book that it makes it so implausible to almost make the book an exercise in futility. And then another tack-on in the epilogue that she had a baby from that one-night stand and became an operative for the CIA? What?

Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 13747 comments Mod
This is now developed into a limited series, available on HBO Max on November 26!

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