by Michael Malone
The Four Corners of the Sky is master storyteller Michael Malone’s novel of love, secrets, and the mysterious bonds of families. Malone brings characters to life as only he can, exploring the questions that defy easy answers: Is love a choice or a calling? Why do the ties of family bind so tightly? And is forgiveness a gift to others…or a gift we give ourselves?
I read this as a downloadable library book from Anaheim Public Library during the first Big Library Read in conjunction with OverDrive. The program ran from May 15-June 1 and was "a pilot program in which libraries worldwide offer a single eBook to their patrons. In addition to creating a global “library book club,” Big Library Read is designed to demonstrate the positive exposure and sales influence library eBook catalogs provide to authors and publishers."
Though it's not obvious at first, the book mainly takes place in the summer of 2001, but with lots of flashbacks into the past of the characters. The genre is Adult Fiction of the quirky Southern variety. The protagonist comes from a fairly unusual family, having been raised for her first seven years by her con man father before being left with her lesbian aunt and a local doctor who rents rooms from the aunt.
The main character is Anne Peregrine Goode, aka Annie P. Goode. Peregrine is her family name; Goode is the name of the doctor who adopted her, along with her aunt. (Not sure how believable that is for North Carolina, but will assume the author knows more than I do.) Annie is obsessed with flying all her life and becomes a Naval pilot. When her father Jack turns up again claiming he is dying, her life is uprooted while she searches for him and a gold artifact he claims was recovered from the wreck of a Spanish galleon. Annie isn't the only one searching for Jack; so are the Miami police and the feds. The Miami cop becomes Annie's love interest.
It's really hard to summarize the plot as it is all quite complicated and convoluted, plus it is a long book. I enjoyed it, though at times wished it had been more tightly written. Lots of quirky characters, but also a lot of food for thought about families and the nature of the American dream. Well worth the time to read it.
Have you checked to see if your library has downloadable books? It's a great service. I would never have known about this book or author otherwise.