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April 4, 2018

Review: The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian

by Donna Huber

The first book I reviewed on Girl Who Reads was by Chris Bohjalian. I loved that book so much that I had to start the blog. I felt the same way about his latest novel The Flight Attendant. It was so good.
Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

The Flight Attendant
March 2018; Doubleday; 978-0385542418
audio, ebook, print (368 pages); thriller
Bohjalian has created two female characters that are in turns sympathetic. Though you probably wouldn't be best friends with either one of them.

Cassie is a self-destructive flight attendant. She is spiraling out of control and even though when she hits what would be rock bottom for most people, waking beside a slain man, she still continues to find new lows. Even before she is wholly convinced she didn't kill him, the reader somehow knows that she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Perhaps it is my strong affinity to the underdog, but I was rooting for Cassie from the start. This created a great amount of anxiety for me - waiting for the shoe to drop. First, it was waking beside a dead man who wasn't her husband while in Dubai - they imprison women just for having sex out of wedlock what do they do if one is found guilty of murder? Then it was her unease and failure to take steps she had promised herself - get a lawyer, stop drinking, etc.

It wasn't until about the middle of the book when it became clear what everyone was looking for that the trepidation eased. I still wasn't sure Cassie wasn't going to jail because she seemed incapable of helping herself - it was more than that. It was like she wanted to be found guilty as she seemed to do everything that could hurt her. Good thing she had some good people looking out for her.

Then there is the other female character Elena. Elena seemed to be shrouded in shadow so it took a little longer to feel sympathy for her. In the end, I was hoping both could have a happy ending.

Bohjalian's careful attention to detail made this story and the people feel so realistic. I loved how he subtlely wove details of everyday life as well as technical details of the various characters' occupation into the story. It really showed off Bohjalian's mastery of storytelling.

I loved every aspect of The Flight Attendant. Even though it didn't end quite the way I had hoped - my version was more wishful thinking rather than a realistic conclusion given the situation.

If you are looking for a well-written thriller where you figure enough out that you think you know how everything is going to be only to be surprised by an unseen twist, then this is the book to pick up. It is truly a delicious thriller.

Buy The Flight Attendant at Amazon

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour

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