Sarah Pekkanen’s Catching Air

If you had the opportunity to leave everything behind and start a new life, would you take it? In Sarah Pekkanen’s new novel, Catching Air, she writes about two couples tied together through blood and little else, who embark on such a journey, and a mysterious woman who joins them with secrets of her own.

Kira was an associate at a law firm in Florida and was so stressed and overworked that she barely had time to do anything else. Her husband Peter had different jobs here and there, but it was Kira who was the bread winner. Then comes the phone call for them to join Peter’s brother Rand in Vermont to help run a bed-and-breakfast, and the normally practical couple decide to make the leap. Little did they know that it wasn’t going to be as simple as it sounded, and issues that they had long buried would start surfacing.

When Alyssa and Rand decided to buy the bed-and-breakfast, they thought it was going to be like every other one of their adventures – something they would do for a short period of time until they grew bored, then leave it behind and venture onto the next thing. But, even for the world’s most carefree couple, life gets in the way. Will they be able to make it or will it be the thing that tears them apart?

Then there’s Dawn, a young woman who fled from a bad situation and ended up at the bed-and-breakfast in Vermont. Will she be able to safely start a new life or will her past come back for her?

Catching Air is about people at a crossroads in their lives, which is why I think that it is so appealing. We all reach them, some not as obvious as others, but, every time we have to make a decision, whether it be getting a new job, ending a relationship, moving, we don’t realize just how much it will impact our lives. It is the way we behave and the choices that we make that make us who we are, that allow us to fail or succeed, which is what Pekkanen is showing us. Running away doesn’t solve anything because you’re not really making a decision as much as you are avoiding it, which only works for so long. You can’t run away from life. You always have to make a decision in the end.

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The Met, an Old Friend

There are some places that, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve visited, or no matter who you had gone with, always envelope you into their doors and surround you with familiarity and warmness. This is the Met to me. Every time I go there I lose myself both in the beauty that it houses and in the literal sense. I always get lost. Normally, that is the type of thing that would frustrate me, but not there. I always look in wonder at my new surroundings and enjoy every minute of it.

Whenever I venture to the museum I have to visit the Egyptian temple, Monet and Degas (I love Degas), but the place that I spend the most time in is a result of one of my happy accidents. A few years ago, I stumbled upon a staircase, a beautiful hand carved staircase that sits on the first floor between European Sculpture and Decorative Arts and the American Wing, from Cassiobury House in Hertfordshire, dating back to the late 1600s. It’s breathtaking, and although that is by far my favorite piece, it is not my favorite section. It is from there, however, that I discovered the period rooms in the American Wing and truly fell in love. You walk through rooms from the late 1600s to early 1900s and see beautiful furnishings, amazing chandeliers….It brings you back to a different time where great care was taken into the production of rooms and houses and possessions. Even the floors in this section are old, hardwood and creak under your feet. Aside from the beautiful interiors, I love the period rooms because they’re quiet, never crowded and truly feel like home. No matter what mood I’m in, they give me an inner peace that I rarely find elsewhere. It’s the most special place in the Met to me. In it, time stands still. Where are your special places?

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