The Flight of Pickerlings - Book Review

Image result for the flight of pickeringGuy Pickering has the biggest problem of his life. Dorothy, the only woman he’s ever loved, suffers with pain and dementia and has only weeks to live. Years ago, they made a pact. Whomever is suffering, the other will help in ending the pain. He knows what he has to do and he just can’t bring himself to do it. With love and honor in heart and a dread of loneliness, he decides to go with her into the afterlife. But Guy soon finds that he is not good at this sort of thing. A rebellious teenage grandson shows up unexpectedly, a fame-hungry reporter chases them and Guy’s most private event spirals out of control in front of an ever widening audience. Much to Guy’s frustration, Life keeps getting in the way of Death. 
The Flight of the Pickerings is a love story that wrestles with end of life issues and our right for self-determination. Filled with tender moments and comic twists, this book engages the reader in one family’s final journey, a voyage all of us will take, sooner or later.
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John Grayson Heide


About the Author

The Flight of the Pickerings is based on a dream which came at a time of extreme stress in John's life. He was living in paradise (Hawaii) and watching his life savings evaporate. Negativity abounded, but the dream/story would not let go and John felt the increasing need to write it out. In writing, his life re-focused on bigger and better aspects and helped him move on. The process of crafting a novel has many ups and downs, but for John, it was almost as if he had no choice. The story needed to be told and after 8 years of steady re-writing, he's finally happy to share it. The Flight of the Pickerings is his debut novel.

Some people will appreciate the book and the underlying message of life and its sacredness. Also death, and its own brand of sacredness. Some people might take the story as an endorsement for suicide. This is not the intention of the book. The highest good this book might foster would be a brave and intelligent discussion among families regarding end of life issues. As Clint Eastwood's character said in the movie Unforgiven "We all got it comin' ".

John now lives on top of a mountain in California enjoying too much sun, his forgiving wife and an array of wild birds he cannot identify.

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The Flight of Pickerlings is so good.  I had to force myself to stop reading, and take a break.  Each time you think this is it, a suspenseful event happens to halt the situation.  Getting old is no fun.  Having a chronic illness is even less fun. The writer does a wonderful job of expressing the tender subject of end of life choices.  Guy wants to end his wife Dorothy’s sickness and pain with dignity.  Imagine loving someone so much you would be willing to die with them.  The story takes you along the journey of Guy and Dorothy’s incredible history together.  They now reside in Florida, with a nosey neighbor as a bonus.  Guy is a simple man, and also knows how to fly.   He decides this is the perfect way to go together, and with dignity.  His plan didn’t go as expected.  Guy ran into many snags, and he started second guessing his decision.  You can feel the tender moments, and thoughts Guy is remembering.   Sadness when he realizes the changes happening to his wife.  The deteriorating illness and constant medical schedule become tiresome.   The fantastic parts are the tender moments Guy and Dorothy still share together.  We know he is doing all these things out of love.  These choices are hard decisions to conquer.  The story moves along with family being most important.   Together everyone can work out a situation, and move forward.  I enjoyed reading this book.  I rate this book with a solid four stars.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  Kris


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