Monday, August 2, 2010

Holding my breath

A flight from my home in Utah to my father's home in Oregon doesn't last long; somewhere just over an hour. My husband and I were flying  to Portland on a clear fall afternoon and  looking at a perfect view of Mt. Hood when suddenly the plane dropped.  It wasn't a big drop, but it was hard, and it landed us in the worst section of turbulence I've ever been a victim of.  The plane shook rapidly and without any certain rhythm, and if felt like it was searching for a perfect piece of air to catch. The women on board were crying and the children were screaming that blood curdling sound that makes your ear drums pulse. Overhead bins started opening, dumping luggage on the passengers below, and all I could feel was the pain in my fingers from locking them around my arm rests in that well known death grip.  I remember my husband taking his hand to hold my face and telling me to breathe. It took me a few seconds to understand what he wanted me to do.  I was terrified.

I relived every moment of this experience in the first pages of CRASHERS, by Dana Haynes.  It was one of many moments in just the first 68 pages that made me hold my breath.  Dana's writing is incredibly descriptive and makes you become a witness to all things that happen in this book.  His decision to write a book about what the NTSB endures when they investigate crash scenes is beyond brilliant, and his ability to bring life to all the characters in this book made me forget that I was reading a work of fiction. 

When the pilot of the plane, Meghan Danvers, screams just before the crash; I heard it and I held my breath. I could feel her emotions as she wrestled to save this flight from its final outcome.  I've experienced the same scream myself and know how difficult it is to be in a situation that you ultimately can't control.  Likewise, when a survivor of this crash walks away uninjured and emotionally breaks down while being questioned; I could feel his terror.  I couldn't breathe and I broke down and cried. 

I've said from the beginning that my blog is about me bringing a little bit of reality to what I'm reading. This is the only way I know how to write.  All I can do is encourage you to buy this book.  I need to know how many other people hold their breath like me.   Dana Haynes has officially made it to my list of writers I want to grow old with. 

6 comments:

jchrz said...

If your only on page 70 I can't wait to hear about the rest of the book. You have already enticed me into reading Crashers. I look forward to hearing more.

Leah Anderson said...

When does baby Jesus come in?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for bringing CRASHERS alive for me. You bring back many memories of my flying days. I hold my breath everytime we take off and I see the runway leaving us high and dry. My hands are holding tightly to the arm rests too. When the plane drops, well, those airpockets will get you everytime, especially over the mountains. Thank you for make this book I will want to read, soon!

Sara said...

I can't wait to read this book! Just reading this post gave me anxiety. I have only flown twice in my life and every time the plane even trembled a little, I was trembling right along with it. I cannot fathom what I would do in a plane crash.

gbeck said...

I was on the edge of my seat just reading your comments about the book. I can't wait to hear what you have to say about the rest of the book and I will definitely add this book to my list of must reads.

Leah Anderson said...

I wanna hear how the rest of it was!