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Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite
Flying Upright is a short novella from Susan Jean Ricci that brings us the story of two young children, Monique and Dom, who are captivated by the idea of representing their country one day at the Winter Olympics in the sport of pairs figure skating. When Monique meets the three years older Dom, at the age of eight, she falls in love with ice-skating and the dream of achieving it all. Years of dedication and hard work see the young prodigies progress to the point where they really are serious contenders for Olympic selection. When tragedy strikes and Dom is seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, the pair must reassess their lives, their single-minded commitment to achieving their dreams, and indeed the relationship that has grown between the pair over the years. Can Monique and Dom, as individuals, survive this disaster and how will it affect their burgeoning romance?
Although a short novella, Flying Upright was sweet and somewhat captivating. With the Winter Olympics currently on television, the timing of the story couldn’t have been more perfect and watching the pairs skaters on television made me think of Monique and Dom and the incredible amount of practice and commitment they had to put in, just to raise their performance to the level where they could be considered for selection. Susan Jean Ricci has a clear, concise writing style that is realistic and believable. The character of Monique as the precocious and sometimes rebellious teenager was well drawn. I found the story to be somewhat predictable, but that never lessened the pleasure of the read. We all need to read some feel-good stories from time to time and Flying Upright is definitely one of those. If the author’s intent with her novellas is to entice the reader into accessing more of her work, then she can consider it a job well done for this reader. It was a pleasant and rewarding journey with Monique and Dom.