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This novel set in North Carolina is “warmly humorous, gossipy, and rich―a book with the soul of a family reunion” (The New York Times Book Review).
The Copeland family goes back a long way in North Carolina. Albert Copeland keeps a written family record, of sorts, in some notebooks he bought back in 1956 to log the flights of his home-built floatplane. He embarked on that project when the kids were still little, but now they’re all grown: Thatcher has a son of his own; Meredith and Mark are back from Vietnam; and Noralee is off dating hippies.
The notebooks are thick with the floatplane’s failures to lift off, and bulging with color Polaroids of the wisteria blossoms near the family plot, favorite family dogs, and Thatcher and Bliss’s wedding; records of Noralee’s height and weight; a diagram of the graveyard; a newspaper story about wild-child Meredith’s many backfired schemes. This novel travels back in time more than one hundred years, to the Copeland bride who first planted the wisteria by the back porch that would take over the surrounding woods, and then back to the present again to show how even though times change, people are pretty much the same.
“Among the wisest, most heartfelt writing to emerge from the South in our generation . . . Meredith Copeland’s first-person account of his Vietnam experience, homecoming, and physical paralysis in North Carolina is breathtakingly stark, full, and real.” ―Los Angeles Times
“The Floatplane Notebooks has all the marks of a master storyteller going straight for the mystery itself. All the marks, that is, of a new American classic.” ―The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“A wonderful celebration of family and tradition, with warts, humor, tragedy, and triumph . . . An exceedingly rich book, a celebration of the human spirit that is brilliantly conceived, structured, and executed.” ―The Cincinnati Post