April is Autism Awareness Month, and the timing is apt for readers to hear from both the voice of a young boy and that of his mother as they face his diagnosis together. For readers of issues-driven fiction focused on the familial relationships FLYING AT NIGHT is perfect.
When the world you know suddenly changes, you can find yourself flying blind.
FLYING AT NIGHT (Berkley Hardcover) is the debut novel of Rebecca L. Brown. Told in three voices – Piper, Fred, and Lance. FLYING AT NIGHT explores love, family, marriage, family and forgiveness.
It tells the story of one mother who is challenged to find a new normal when her entire world is turned upside down with two life-changing medical diagnoses – that of autism for her son, and brain damage for her father.
Lance Whitman is a commercial airline pilot nicknamed “the Silver Eagle” by the public and the media for his heroics in the air. But his daughter Piper knows him as her emotionally abusive and distant father, and the scars of her childhood haunt her still as an adult.
Piper is also the mother of nine-year-old Fred, a precocious, voracious reader obsessed with World War II and airplanes and is endlessly observant—yet doesn’t have any friends. To Piper, his idiosyncrasies seem harmless, but to his teachers, they show signs of something more serious.
As she learns the difficult-to-grasp truth that her son is autistic, a tragedy hits: her father suffers a heart attack that leaves him brain damaged, and her mother decides to abandon their unfulfilling and abusive marriage, leaving Piper as his caregiver. Suddenly, the father that Piper worked so hard to distance herself from becomes entangled in her life again as he and his dog, the loveable Chuck Yeager, move in with her and her family during his recovery.
Rebecca Brown lives happily in Madison, Wisconsin with her very handy husband, three busy sons and two good-looking but useless dogs. She teaches Four Year Old Kindergarten at a Madison nursery school and falls in love with her job all over again every day.
Her writing has been featured in Brava Magazine. In 2012 her essay “Mothering the Storm: Parenting with depression” was featured in a “Listen to Your Mother” show in Madison, WI. In 2015 her essay was included in the national anthology titled “Listen to Your Mother: What She Said Then, What We’re Saying Now” published by Penguin (2015).
When she isn’t busy mothering, teaching or writing, she splits her time between serial “do-it-yourself-ing”, speed reading, and pretending to understand whatever video game her children are obsessed with.
She’s working on her next novel.
We have one copy of FLYING AT NIGHT. Just tell us your experience with Autism.
We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck!