Genuinely vibrantly imagined…emotionally rigorous…idea driven…with indelible characters and true suspense.
A tender tribute to human valiance…..impossible to be unmoved by this fragile life-affirming story! Terrific debut by John Grayson Heide elyse jody Goodreads
Two quotes came to mind as I read this. The first is”Life is what happens to you as you plan for something else” and the other is”Tell God your life plans and listen for the laughter.” Ok, so both are a bit cynical but I also think pretty realistic. This is not a story of sappy sentimentality, but an honest look at end of life issues. What would you do if you’d made a promise to a loved one to help them end their suffering of a terminal illness? Would you be thinking of what’s best for that person or for yourself? The Pickerings comedies of errors(and there are many) are funny, touching, and Oh so possible .I’ve often thought about these issues, but I doubt that my life story should be made into a movie as this book should. It would not be a blockbuster but would be a sleeper that would slowly gather an audience of loving fans. David Halpern Goodreads
This is a great book by a great new writer. This will be made into a movie. If you like coming of age stories that take you through coming of age to aging, if you like humor and like stories of adventurous committed love – you will love this book. GWB
This is a well written book regarding the end of life options. Guy and Dorothy vow that if one or the other becomes incapacitated that they will help the mate end their suffering. The rub begins when Guy has to execute his promise, which leads to funny, awkward situations and ultimately to a dramatic and unexpected ending. John Grayson Heide obviously wrote this as a screen play, which unfolds in beautifully described vignettes that tie together smoothly and visually in the reader’s mind. It is thought-provoking touching and funny, as it explores those end of life questions, as well as family dynamics and human foibles. Well worth the quick read. Jim Corbett
I enjoyed every chapter. By chapter three I was completely hooked.
Wonderful warmth and poignancy alongside heartbreaking, hilarious episodes. Lots of great lines and dialogue. A penetrating and heartfelt look at retirement, media, aging, marriage the current American scene.
The main characters, Guy and Dorothy a couple who meet as young kids and stay together for life ring absolutely true throughout the book.
They are supported throughout the narrative by a rich assortment of characters. Sons and daughters, purple haired grand kids, nosy neighbors, ex-husbands, local law-enforcement and media personalities, bikers and barstool sitters, they’re all here.
Without giving the climax away I can say that this novel builds tremendously by the end and delivers on its promise. Good work Mr. Heide. 30 Weight
This is a deeply moving tale even when it made me laugh. It makes it abundantly clear all true love stories end at a death bed. His endowing inanimate objects with personalities added a whimsical note. It was brilliantly done. I can’t wait to read more of this masterful writer. Andrea Granahan
This was a delightful story which captured my attention from the first page to the last. It was masterfully written with suspense and humor. I would love to see it as a movie! Lynn Daberkow
A rare blend of adventure, love story and comedy, with depth that ties them all together, this unpredictable work results in an uplifting take on end of life issues, family ties and the media that surrounds us. Jodell
Engaging and relevant love story told with elegance and insight, drama and comedy.The Pickering cast; familiar and entertaining ,skillfully relaxes the unsuspecting reader into becoming a culpable witness.Beautiful and, at times, subtly irreverent, The Flight of the Pickerings is convincing; a timely and a sincere vision. We cannot avoid Guy’s dilemma. Colorfully wrapped, this author’s gift to us; We seamlessly join with Guy on his intimate journey. J. Burton
The author has done a wonderful job of balancing a very serious and timely subject, with humor, warmth and engaging characters. This is a valuable read for anyone who is going through, or knows someone going through, the important life decisions that we will all face. But it is also highly entertaining and would make a wonderful motion picture. Blair
I loved this charming book. By the time I read the last chapter I felt as though I knew each of the characters intimately, even the quirky ones! John Heide’s use of humor along with his wisdom in dealing with the difficult subject of facing death with dignity makes this a delightful and absorbing story. Like others, I’d love to see it made into a movie just so that Guy and Dorothy could come alive even more than they are now.
Congratulations to the author on a well crafted and thoughtful book. JHJ
My book club selected this book for our monthly read. I had no idea what it was about (my book club has eclectic taste, so this is often the case!) but from the first few sentences, I was hooked! I’m not sure I remember reading a book that had me literally laughing out loud one minute, and then grabbing me in such poignant recognition of the frailty of aging, and the deep and dark decisions that face those bound by years-long love when the mind and body start to fail. I instantly recognized the similarity of Guy and Dorothy’s experience with my own parents, who had a similar passionate love union that illness didn’t diminish. I hope the reading masses will realize what a treasure this book really is! Kathleen Hamilton
Join John Grayson Heide’s imaginative novel as he takes you on an incredibly fun, poignant and memorable ride in The Flight of the Pickerings. While the Pickering family deals with life transitions and challenges, the animals and objects around them become hysterically alive,expressive and opinionated! Heide has a unique and wonderful tale that is a page-turner; I just had to read it through in one sitting. You will emerge with a smile on your face, new ideas to ponder and possibly even a better person than when you embarked!” Joan Tabb, founder and member of the Wed. Noon Book Club of Sonoma County
The Flight of Pickerlings is so good. I had to force myself to stop reading, and take a break. Each time you think this is it, a suspenseful event happens to halt the situation. Getting old is no fun. Having a chronic illness is even less fun. The writer does a wonderful job of expressing the tender subject of end of life choices. Guy wants to end his wife Dorothy’s sickness and pain with dignity. Imagine loving someone so much you would be willing to die with them. The story takes you along the journey of Guy and Dorothy’s incredible history together. They now reside in Florida, with a nosey neighbor as a bonus. Guy is a simple man, and also knows how to fly. He decides this is the perfect way to go together, and with dignity. His plan didn’t go as expected. Guy ran into many snags, and he started second guessing his decision. You can feel the tender moments, and thoughts Guy is remembering. Sadness when he realizes the changes happening to his wife. The deteriorating illness and constant medical schedule become tiresome. The fantastic parts are the tender moments Guy and Dorothy still share together. We know he is doing all these things out of love. These choices are hard decisions to conquer. The story moves along with family being most important. Together everyone can work out a situation, and move forward. I enjoyed reading this book. I rate this book with a solid four stars. I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Kris
Quickly, I’ll quickly dispense with what I stumbled over in this worthy book: the use of a wrong word (ie., plaintiff for plaintive) that an editor really should have caught; and an overabundance of adjectives and adverbs, which the story didn’t need. It would move along vividly with fewer descriptors. NOW, here’s what I loved: everything else–the story, the character development, the detailed dressing of the scene, the mix of poignancy and humor, and the tender handling of a difficult and divisive subject. Readers will not easily forget the engaging characters, some of them staying just on the safe side of over the top. The truth of them drives the action, which in this case is soaring. As I’ve noted elsewhere, this is a terrific read for anyone who has ever truly loved anyone else and had to face losing him or her–which is nearly all of us, if we’ve lived long enough. More pointedly, it’s a book for people who have done or are willing to do some pretty crazy things to preserve their rights to live and die in dignity–and humor! Flight of the Pickerings would translate beautiful onto film. J. C. Weil