Clarissa Burden is a writer who lives in Hope, Florida. She is a woman who is desperately in need of finding her backbone and power to stand up for herself. She is an accomplished writer with a case of writer's block that she has never suffered through before. She is married to Iggy, a dishonest, detestable artist whose art leans more towards the erotic and pornographic. He has no respect for Clarissa who supports him financially and appears jealous of her success. Sadly, she tolerates his abuse and disrespect just as she had to endure a childhood of abuse from her single mother. She has started to fantasize about the various ways that her detestable husband could die. A fire starts inside Clarissa that will grow as this day continues on and becomes a day full of amazing changes ahead of her.
How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly is the story of one day in the life of Clarissa Burden, on June 21st, the summer solstice of 2006 and one of the hottest days of the year. Clarissa goes on a journey of self discovery where she will encounter a series of ghosts, a one armed angel, a one eyed fisherman, an abandoned cemetary full of the neglected and forgotten souls of women and children, a dwarf cirus, her own internal voices that are dubbed the ovarian shadow women, and an encounter with a writing colleague that opens her eyes to what she has been missing in her own marriage.
I found this to be a whimsical, engaging tale that held my interest and I couldn't put this book down. I read it in a 24 hour period which is a rare occurence for me. I did struggle a bit at first as there are no chapters that seperate the telling of this story. I adjusted to this style of writing as I read along and got used to the rhythm and flow. This is not your typical story of how a woman comes out of her shell and learns to stand up for herself. Fowler takes you through the swamps of Florida into the hearts and souls of men and women who touch Clarissa's life in a direct and indirect way. The supernatural elements are woven into the story in a way that are subtle enough not to dominate the novel. Clarissa must make a decision if flying solo is the way to gain control of her life and can she find a way to soar ahead? I was rooting for Clarissa through to the end...I won't give away the ending, you will HAVE to read the book to find out!
Disclosure: Thanks to Hachette Books for sending me a review copy of this book to participate in the April Hachette Blog tour. I am an Amazon Associate and Indiebound Associate.