Author: Kathleen Jennings
Released: July 28th, 2020
I received a copy of Flyaway in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Flyaway is the latest novel to come from the mind of Kathleen Jennings, and it is a thing of beauty. Having read it, I can now understand all of the hype I’ve been hearing about this novella.
Bettina Scott is a woman of many names, depending on who you ask. Growing up in a small Western Queensland town, there is a certain air of mystery around her. And her entire family. Her father went missing one day, and then her brothers followed.
Now she’s alone with her mother, and she’s on a path of being that good little girl that her mother always wanted. That is, until the mystery became too much for her to continue turning away from.
“If you were born to Runagate with all its fragile propriety, its tidy civilization, its ring-fence of roads and paddocks, wires and blood, there was nothing else in the world beyond but trees.”
Flyaway is the perfect amalgamation of family horror, century gothic vibes, and a strong sense of otherness. Simply put, there is something wrong with the Scott family, and this is the journey to the truth.
I was sucked into this story from the first sentence. Let me tell you, it has been a hot minute since something like that has happened to me, and for that reason alone, I will treasure this novella – all while touting it to anybody who will listen.
The addition of family drama in a horror concept is actually perfection, and I love it the more I think about it. It adds more layers to an already complex story, all while increasing the stakes. At least, when done right. As was the case for Flyaway.
The way this twisted story reveals itself is another highlight, in my mind. Bettina’s tale is truly chilling – but the depth of that is far from clear, not until you really dive in. Even so, the early scenes make it clear that something is wrong. Very wrong. It’s a feeling in the air, something that anybody who has ever experienced gaslighting in person can attest to.
“YOU COWARD, TINK”
The mystery in this novella quickly unfolds, yet only thanks to the secondary characters whom take pity on Bettina. Personally, I enjoyed each revelation as they came, and would have happily read an entire novel’s worth of that suspense.
But alas, it was only a novella, and I quickly finished it. It was absolutely worth it, and I have no regrets on that front. Other than to hope that there will be more like this in the future.