When Isabel Morales, a Chicago sculptor, receives word that her mother has died and that she has inherited property back in West Virginia, it forces open a past she has hidden even from her husband, but when she travels there, additional toxic secrets keep coming out. How can she forge a new life for herself that is based on her realities, not just her aspirations? “Flight Risk is a compelling, gritty portrait of class in America. Joy Castro traffics the rural-urban divide with complexity and compassion. The protagonist, Isabel Morales, an outsider turned artist, guides the reader through poverty, wealth, and the beating heart of our political divide as she reclaims her roots in coal-country West Virginia while reconciling the privileged life she’s built in Chicago. This is outlaw fiction at its best.” ―Melissa Scholes Young. “From the stunning opening lines of Joy Castro’s Flight Risk, we know we’re in the hands of a master storyteller, and it held me captive until the final page. With writing so evocative I could taste her words, Castro has wrought a sharply observed love story with a social conscience―an investigation of class, family, and the many ways we get each other wrong.” ―Jennifer Steil. “Funny, sexy, and transfixing, Joy Castro’s Flight Risk is a meditation on love, marriage, art, family, womanhood―and therefore, life itself. Castro skillfully builds tension, and the slow intensity with which the plot’s arc forms gives the novel its exquisite and powerful impact.” ―Chigozie Obioma. “A deftly intelligent literary thriller, Flight Risk is that rarest of beasts―beautifully written yet a real page-turner, too. Wonderful.” ―S. J. Watson. “Joy Castro writes with a balanced urgency―elegant sentences tempered with grace and intelligence, clear and gripping character arcs and story lines―and with a depth and dimension that leans into the transformative. Another strong book.” ―Chris Abani. The author, Joy Castro, holds an endowed chair in English at the University of Nebraska and has published in several genres.
Seattle, Washington: Lake Union Publishing, 2021. 331 pages. Trade paperback.