Dear American Airlines

Dear American Airlines

by Jonathan Miles

Arlene Almas: A man is stuck in Chicago's O'Hare Airport, along with many other passengers, on his way to his daughter's marriage (commitment ceremony to her partner) in California. (I feel his pain - I've been stuck in O'Hare, too.) American Airlines claims it's due to weather problems, but to Bennie the weather looks fine. He begins to write a letter to the airline to pass the time, telling the funny and regretful story of his life - we learn about his alcoholism and separation from his wife Stella and daughter Stella (yes, both have the same name).

This trip is to be the first time he has seen his daughter since his wife fled with her as a baby from New Orleans to California. Father and daughter have not even communicated during all this time until they share several phone conversations leading up to their decision that he should attend her wedding and, in fact, lead her down the aisle. It's a short book (180 pages) but contains a lifetime, and so well written that I felt he was speaking directly to me, the reader. I enjoyed it very much.
Rating: ****

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