Heavier Than Air

Heavier Than Air


Fiction - Anthology
208 Pages
Reviewed on 03/22/2009
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite

Nona Caspers has a unique style of writing. In several of her stories, she takes the mundane and demonstrates the significance of the act. Such as the mere act of breathing; it does not seem so important until you are drowning.

The connecting thread in this anthology is rural life. Having grown up in a rural area during the 60’s, it is easy to relate to many of the stories. Caspers has a talent for breathing life into her characters. Not every author is capable of connecting characters to readers. The descriptions of rural life made me feel almost like I was once again lying on my back watching the clouds form designs that only I could see, running barefoot through the tobacco patch, or pulling grass to feed my pet rabbit. Each story is slightly dark and has a bit of humor. The young adults are struggling to discover who they are and what their place is in the scheme of life. They desire to soar to higher heights. In reality, few of us attain the heights we seek.

Heavier Than Air will leave the reader pondering the story long after finishing it. If you are looking for happy-ever-after, this book is not for you. If you enjoy books written in an unassuming style that will stir your emotions and make you think, you will enjoy Heavier Than Air.

Elaine S. Buckholtz

Read this collection! These stories rich and deeply satisfying and moving--I read straight through and then read some of the stories again (Country Girls, The Fifth Season, Wide Like an Eagle's Wings). This book is for everyone who loves stories and great characters!

We rarely experience rural people with such complexity and compassion--a farmer, Mr. Lawrence Hellerman--you'll LOVE him and the way he looks at the world as he's trying to recover from a breakdown in a hospital. And the girl who collects cow bones and falls in love with a farm girl, and the woman who invites her mother to visit her in San Francisco after a break up with her girlfriend and then loses the mother in the park. You will love these people and you will witness the generosity of great writing. The San Francisco Chronicle said the stories rev up Willa Cather's lesbian undertones with Denis Jonson's (Jesus Son) deadpan plains rowdiness" -- and that the artistry rewards rereading: "simplicity this precise takes time, talent and considerable cultivation." And it was on the Editor's Choice list (underneath the Bestsellers Feb. 25 2007) in the New York Times Book Review! BUY THE BOOK OR GO TO THE LIBRARY-- BUT READ IT.

S. Kaplan

Nona Caspers' writing is full and lush and ethereal. The characters come alive and yet simultaneously exist in some sort of magical world. Each story is so full of feeling and emotion and beauty. I only put this book down to make it last longer. Loved it.

David Bentley

I loved this book. Caspers captures the essence of growing up in a rural setting where the spaciousness warps time and the boredom becomes mind expanding; riding the border between neglect and freeedom. Her prose is witty and intelligent, but yet humble and downright home cooked. A triumph of mind and spirit...Cheers!

P. Lovitt

Nona Caspers "Heavier than Air" short stories take you into the lives of people that are growing up in rural Minnesota. Each story drew me in. I found myself feeling for the characters as they were going through whatever angst that was happening in their lives. Ms. Caspers writes in such a way, that if she describes a feeling, you feel it; or if she describes a setting, you see it. It takes true talent to be able to do this. Her characters are truly believable because she takes you right into their minds and hearts. Life is not easy for any of them. They are dealing with some very real issues such as first love, and death.
Another reason that I found her stories seeming so realistic is that she incorporates some very unusual ideas into her plots. It takes someone that either has a vivid imagination or had seen a lot in their lives to be able to do this. I really enjoyed the quirks that were in some of the characters. Ms. Caspers did such an awesome job of sucking me into her stories that I would forget that they were actually short stories. I found myself feeling bereft when some of them ended, because I was not done with the characters yet. Because they are fictional, they really only get brief moments of fame, and then they have to wait inside the book for someone else to read their stories so that they can come alive again.
If you are looking for a light read, this is not the book for you. However, if you are looking for a collection of stories with depth, this is the one. I highly recommend this novel and think that you will really appreciate the stories.

Rose L. Offner

Heavier than Air, by Nona Caspers is a beautiful book. I read most of the book in one night. Although it's a book of fiction the characters have an authenticity and a humanity that brings them to life on the page. It's the beauty and emotion in the language and the landscape that lends texture and truth to the narratives. The vivid images of life and longing are compelling they uncover unusual aspects of the hearts terrain.
"I don't want you near me," she said. "Go home."
"In the hottest part of summer the corn takes on sharp edges, and thistles grow between the stalks though they can be avoided if you stay in the rows. I ran barefoot in my shorts straight at the corn stalks, smashing against the cobs, scraping the thistles against my skin. A sharp pain shot up my side and rose to my heart and I honestly believed I was having a heart attack, that my heart was cracking like and egg that falls out of a tree."

While reading "heavier than air" your heart opens up to life and passion and longing. A must read a beautiful book!