The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian
The Flight Attendant
by Chris Bohjalian
Doubleday (March 13, 2018)
Advance copy provided by publisher
Have you ever known (or known of) someone whose life has begun to resemble a raging dumpster fire due to their epically poor decision-making or coping skills? Well, multiply that times ten and you might be close to the disaster that is Cassandra Bowden, main character of author Chris Bohjalian's latest release The Flight Attendant.
Most of Cassandra's poor decisions are in direct correlation to her relationship with alcohol; drinking is the tool that she has chosen to employ in an effort to cover up old wounds that tend to resurface regularly. It's unfortunate, and she fully acknowledges her need to clean up, but she struggles with self-worth and an unrequited desire for genuine happiness.
Unfortunately, one of her adventures leads her into the bed of an international traveler who, as it turns out, may be hiding some secrets of his own; when she wakes up the morning after, he is dead...still in bed, next to her. GAH!
As usual, Bohjalian weaves a crafty tale, full of details and careful plot development; he introduces another character, one who has been tasked with tying up the loose ends of that evening, and Cassandra is forced to admit that she may be in more trouble than she can handle.
While this is not my favorite of his novels, and I found myself a little distracted during some of the narrative about Russian ties and international money-laundering networks (although super timely!), overall this was an entertaining read. Often cringe-worthy, as Cassandra digs herself deeper and deeper into an isolating existence, Bohjalian remains one of the best at crafting flawed, broken characters who manage to survive unimaginable circumstances.