*This book was sent to me by the publisher Thomas Dunne Books, in exchange for an honest review.
Since my first flight at age 23, I’ve fantasized about careers that would give me the means to travel for a living. Samantha Brown? I may have said a few bad things about her because I’m green with envy. Yet I never once considered being a flight attendant. Tiffany Hawk’s debut novel Love Me Anyway is a great example of why.
Emily Cavenaugh and KC Valentine meet when they begin training as flight attendants. Both seeking a different life – Emily as an escape from an abusive husband, KC looking for the father who abandoned her – they become friends, or as friendly as they can be when their schedules involve flying to different sides of the world and running into one another infrequently in the apartment they share with four other girls.
KC encourages Emily to loosen up, to really cash in on the experience of literally becoming a world traveler. But Emily falls for the wrong guy, a married flight attendant working a stringent schedule so he can spend more time with his two young daughters.
Problems don’t disappear at 35,000 feet; in fact, the hectic schedules, exhaustion, and loneliness only intensify the challenges as KC and Emily fly from San Francisco to London, London to Chicago, and everywhere else in between.
When the unimaginable occurs, and the September 11 attacks involve their sister planes, the women are grounded and forced to face the reality of who they are and where they’re from. Hawk does such a fantastic job of showing what the men and women working for airlines must have felt in the days and weeks after the attacks. The shock and grief of those moments is distilled in these characters and sharpened as many face layoffs, unable to acclimate to life on the ground.
As Emily says to her father when he picks her up, “I want to go home.” “You are home,” he says. Love Me AnywayÂ is a surprisingly deep look at what that word entails and how finding home may not happen while surrounded by four walls and a roof overhead.
Add this to your Goodreads shelf.