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Reviewed by Lynette Fowlston for Readers' Favorite
"Call Me When You Land" by Michael Schiavone is one of those books that you will read and won’t put down till you are finished or one that you will not be able to finish. It is the story of a single mother raising a teenage boy and her aging great uncle. As the reader follows through a year in the life of this dysfunctional family we can see this as a likely happening in today’s society.
Katie Olmstead has had a little success with her art work but not enough to support her and her son. Tending her bar at nights just helps to further her alcoholism although she claims that she is not an alcoholic. Her son C. J has a chip on his shoulder that seems to grow larger everyday. He has never known his father and the gulf between him and his mother just keeps getting wider as he tries to deal with his anger. When her great Uncle Walter moves in with them he is slowly dying but he watches the family and tries to help them to reunite themselves and redeem their family life. When C.J’s father dies he has his Harley sent to C.J. That is the straw that widens the gulf between C.J and his mother. As Katie flashes back to what it was like growing up with an alcoholic and mentally challenged mother, a father who was never there, and a sister who in all things thought she was better than the rest, we can see why Katie is at the point where she is currently.
This was in all respects a hard story to write a review on, not because of the plot itself, but because the story is so powerful and there is so much to it that one wants to write more and more without giving it all away. What I found out as I read on was that sometimes things have to be torn apart and rebuilt in order to get rid of all the dirt and accumulation that has built up over the years and this is what this family has had to do. As I read I could feel the pain that Katie was going through, the broken relationship with not only C.J.’s father but with her own family as well. The book does contain coarse language and I felt at times that it was a little overdone in some parts. Although there are hints at sexual encounters the act itself is not played out in the novel. As I said at the beginning one will either like the book or refuse to finish it. I read it in two settings as once I got into it I found it hard to put down.