Wasn t drawn in by these characters That s especially a problem in first person The book nibbled around the edges of a few interesting ideas, seemed like it had a workable plot and an interesting structure in the background, but through these characters pedestrian perspectives I could only glimpse the value of these elements as in a dim mirror, too often obscured by incohesiveness DNF ed at the 2 3 mark Irritating, had to stop reading. I recently won a basket put together by the local library at a silent auction I had never heard of some of the books in the basket I have now read three of them I really liked this one I began it not knowing what to expect It s about searching The searches are never truly completed, but the characters left me with a warm feeling at the end of the novel. Landing started well intriguing premise but failed to deliver. ( Free ) ♹ Landen ♀ Een oude Spaanse man zit in het vliegtuig naast een jonge Nederlandse vrouw Ze raken met elkaar aan de praat Hij overleed tijdens de landing, zegt zij aan het begin van deze puzzelachtige vertelling En ze voelt de noodzaak om het houten kistje dat de man bij zich heeft, mee naar huis te nemen In afwisselende hij en zij hoofdstukken vertelt Laia F bregas een intrigerend verhaal van een zoektocht.Het is een verhaal over toeval en ongeluk, over je aanpassen in een nieuw land en over nostalgie, eenzaamheid en onvoorwaardelijke liefde.
Landing is a thought provoking, cleverly constructed, philosophical novel.Reviewed on The BookBlast Diary 2016 Who am I Am I my country My nationality My parentage My language My culture These are the questions that confront the Her and the Him of this novel of discovery And do we have our better angels Her is of the opinion that at least she does.Insightful. I received a review copy from Hispabooks Publishing via Edelweiss.What would you do if the man sitting next to you on a plane flight died during landing When this story begins, a young Dutch woman and an elderly Spanish man are sitting side by side on a plane flight from Barcelona to Holland The kind and gentle man begins to tell the woman the story of his life and how he ended up on this plane to visit his eldest son The Dutch woman nods off for a while and upon waking she discovers that the flight has landed and the nice Spanish gentleman has died.My instinct in this situation would have been to immediately call for help and get the attention of the flight attendants and staff, but the unnamed female narrator acts very strangely and sits with the man until the plane has been completely emptied of passengers Before she is discovered by the flight attendants, she takes a small wooden box that the man was holding and secretly puts it in her own bag The box doesn t seem to be anything of value but is a keepsake or a memento from the elderly man s previous life.The narrative is told in alternating voices between the Dutch woman, simply referred to as Her, and the elderly man also simply referred to as Him Fabregas s choice to not name her characters is part of an interesting pattern I have noticed in literature in translation, especially from European countries Although both characters in this book have experienced loss and loneliness, the juxtaposition of the him versus her dialogue serves to highlight and bring to the forefront the profound differences between these two strangers.The Spanish gentleman grew up in Extremadura with a large immediate family He is in love with a woman named Mariana, but this beautiful woman whom he idolizes has chosen his brother Pedro over him The narrator knows that he cannot stay in this town if he is to heal his wounds and make a life for himself When the opportunity arises for him to move to Holland and work in a Philips lightbulb factory he enthusiastically embraces this fortuitous change in his life As different obstacles are thrown in his way he always feels that his only choice is to move forward His natural reaction to coping with tragedies and sorrows in life is to make connections with other human beings and this always pulls him out of his strenuous circumstances When his future in laws oppose his marriage, he reaches out to a local priest to intervene when his beloved wife Willemien becomes sick, he reaches out to his neighbors for comfort and succor when his wife dies and he is profoundly lonely he reaches out to old friends and his family for support.The Dutch woman, by contrast, suffers some kind of traumatic experience in her life, the details of which are not fully revealed until later in the story This event has had such a profound impact on her that she is stuck, she cannot move forward and is an empty shell going through the motions of her lonely life She doesn t have many friends and keeps her only family, a loving aunt and uncle, at a distance Although she technically performs her job well in a government tax office, she is oftentimes scolded at work because she does not engage socially with her colleagues and is not viewed as a team player The only activity that keeps this woman going is a list of names of one hundred people that she is searching for and interviewing one by one This list is somehow connected to the tragedy she suffered early in her life and she feels that someone on this list will give her the answers she needs The author gives us the names of several people on the list but, by contrast, she never names the narrator herself She still simply remains Her all the way through to the conclusion of the book This literary device seems appropriate for this character since she has never been able to forge a fulfilling life for herself or make deeper emotional connections to any other person But it seemed unsettling to me that the unnamed male narrator was never given a first name He was jovial, outgoing and optimistic and it would have felt natural for someone to have called him by his name at least once in the story At the very end he is given a surname, but we still never find out what his closest friends and family called him.F bregas has written an absorbing book that explores themes of identity, human connections, art and language This is one of those books that perfectly lends itself to a deep and interesting discussion with other bibliophiles and is deserving of multiple reads This book has also inspired me to think about books with unnamed narrators and perhaps write a longer essay about this topic. 2.5 Stars I learned about this book thanks to Portal in the Pages who read it as part of her Around the World Reading Challenge You can check out her challenge and progress here If you were sitting next to someone on a plane, chatting with them briefly before falling asleep, then upon landing discovered that they were dead, how would you react Well, that is exactly how Landing begins On a flight from Barcelona to the Netherlands an elderly Spanish man and a young Dutch woman are having a small chat, mostly him telling her about his life and the small box he was carrying to pass on to his son, and after their chat, she falls asleep When the plane is mere moments from completely landing he is alive, when it has landed, and people are disembarking, he is dead After the plane empties and the flight attendant is doing her sweep of the plane they are noticed, and she tells the flight attendant that the man has died Then, for whatever reason, she takes the man s small box and departs This strange decision and action are when things are set in motion that will tie the story together and bring it full circle at the end even if it s unknowingly.The story continues and goes back and forth between her perspective and his his through flashbacks and tells the story of the two characters Her, an orphaned girl looking for an angel, and him, a migrant worker who, among other things, met, married, and lost the love of his life There is much to be learned about the two and how their lives interconnected long before the tragic flight, and the cultures and countries the story visits.This book was originally written and published in Spanish and has been translated into several languages, including English, and, to me at least, perhaps lost something in translation I was excited to read this book based on the synopsis of it as it sounded spectacular, but the I read the confused I got and by the end, I had far questions than answers and it felt like I had missed something along the way even after re reading it, that feeling of something missing was still there.Overall, I would recommend this book, perhaps in its original version if you can understand it, as it does have an interesting premise and is a quick read the book is just over 200 pages If you read it or have read it, let me know what your thoughts on it are, I would love to hear what other people took away from the story.This review is also posted on www.functionallyfictional.com Landing follows two sets of episodes of their characters lives These are two distinct people who meet on the first page without realizing their parallel connections, searching for answers to their lives questions She, a Dutch woman, travels often to Spain in her quest to find the angel who pulled her out of the burning family car He, a Spaniard, traveled to Holland searching for work in the mid twentieth century Janet Mary LiveseyThis book was reviewed in the November December 2016 issue of World Literature Today magazine Read the full review by visiting our website