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Aloft by Chang-rae Lee
Aloft is the apt description of Jerry Battle's escape from life's mundane problems. Retired from his landscaping business at 59, he prefers to spend his time flying his airplane alone above his native Long Island. A set of family crises threaten to bring Jerry back down to earth. His father is unhappy with his assisted living facility, his son is running the landscaping business into bankruptcy, his daughter is diagnosed with cancer while pregnant with her first child, and his long time lover has left him for another man. Chang-rae Lee's novel centers around an insightful man trying to find the right balance between responsibility and the freedom which he believes he's worked hard to achieve. Aloft has received mostly positive reviews with the Chicago Sun-Times saying, "It's a book about a vast slice of American society, its changing ethnicities and colors, its blurring of urban-suburban life, its ethical and moral choices, and its seemingly inherent optimism. In short, it's a terrific book."