Call Me When You Land , by Michael Schiavone. Publisher: The Permanent Press (September, 2011). Literary fiction. Hardcover, 192 pp.
Katie remembers the morning he turned twelve, how his feet had grown a size overnight, instantly clownish on his gawky frame. Soon after, the hairs on his legs had darkened—sweet blonde giving way to that awful, primitive black. As his jaw widened, the eyes narrowed. Top to bottom, he had shed his skin. Top to bottom, C.J. had hardened.
As she nears her 40th birthday, single-mom and alcoholic bartender Katie Olmstead finds herself treading water. She’s an artist but hasn’t sold a painting in some time. She’s artistically blocked and drinks every day to numb any reality. Part of her reality is her 15-year-old son, C.J., who’s most interested in hockey and he’s become a teenager. No longer the doting child. C.J.’s ski-bum, wayward father dies and leaves a Harley Davidson motorcycle for the son he never knew. And this alone causes an immense amount of tension between mother and son. Of course Schiavone writes Katie and C.J. so well that numerous things both do will make you so angry. Call Me When You Land is an extremely well-written novel. So much so I became engaged despite the selfish and often annoying characters. Author Michael Schiavone made me want to find out if they’d change and where they’d end up. An exceptional writer possesses the ability to write compellingly about even unappealing characters. Not a fan of the weirdo fictional Massachusetts town name of Newquay. Call Me When You Land delves into this family’s struggles for happiness with solid artistry and elocution.