Reviewed by Poppy J.
Michael Malone’s The Four Corners of the Sky has all of the ingredients of a great novel. The story follows Annie Peregrine-Good in her quest to find out the truth about her father, mother and eventually herself through resolving the missing links of her childhood.
The story is mostly told in flashback form, starting when Annie is unceremoniously abandoned at Pilgrim’s Rest, her father’s childhood home, on the Fourth of July in the year 2001. Her Aunt Sam (antha) and Uncle Clark Goode are as surprised as she is that her thrill-seeking father leaves her with a baseball cap, holding mysterious numbers, mysterious bedtime stories of hidden treasures and her father’s plane, “The King of the Sky.”
Annie is told an amiable mix of stories and lies by her father as she grows up. She is made to believe that her mother was a famed film actress Claudette Colbert (partly true), and that her father’s brushes with the law are worth every minute of harrowing stress they provide in Annie’s life (you decide). In the end, Annie’s journey into adulthood is less than ordinary, and the result is that she becomes an admittedly extraordinary woman because of it.
The story bounces forward in time, then ambles backwards, then skips forward again, then back. The reader would have trouble keeping up with the virtual time travel, were it not for the distinctness of the colorful characters involved in the story line. One point of contention is that the author insists that Annie was a fast flier, like a cadet in the Naval Academy . Unfortunately for the reader, this is more than poetic license, since cadets do not fly while in the academy. I am assuming that the author made Annie as fast flier as a cadet since it showed her ambition and fit into the story so well. C’est la vie! It didn’t ruin the story for me, but I can see where someone who is a stickler for the facts might have been offended by this fact.
Overall, the story is a good read. It is definitely a book that can be picked up, then put down, then picked up again when the reader has a few free moments to spend on an exciting story about a woman flier who winds up making it after all.
Poppy graduated with a JD from the Michael Moritz College of Law. She worked in several NYC law departments before realizing she’d rather be teaching. After a decade of teaching Business Studies courses, she decided she enjoyed writing full-time. She currently works as a freelance writing consultant, managing client content from comedy to marketing, and lives with her husband and sons in Coastal New Hampshire.