A Child Lost in Flight is a first person, non-fiction narrative written by Mohan K. It’s a tragic story about the loss of a child during a plane flight, and a father’s process of dealing with the loss.
The story is heartbreaking, and full of unanswered questions. I got the feeling that writing this story was somewhat of a cathartic experience for the author. Additionally, the book has a website, achildlostinflight.blogspot.com, that has turned into a resource for parents who have experienced similar traumatic experiences. The most recent posts, for example, include helpful links and information to people looking to reach out and help the victims’ families of the Sandy Hook tragedy. There are also posts that share other parents’ stories of the loss of their children, author interviews that highlight books with similar stories, and tips on how to deal with grief.
That said, my review will be focusing on the way the book is written, and not specifically the content or motivation behind it. I do think the story itself is important, and looking at the blog it seems this book has helped to build a supportive community.
However, I also think that this story was published a little too soon. While the story is strong, it’s not quite fleshed out, and reads more like a series of journal entries. There is a lot of relaying of facts and talking about what exactly happened on that fateful day, but as the reader I felt I was only getting a glimpse of the story. I would have liked to see more about the narrator and his wife, and how they acted and reacted. I would have also liked to have seen a little more show than tell. I think the story could be stronger if it included some key scenes, such as describing in more detail what happened once the plane landed, or including more dialogue to show how the narrator’s parents supported the narrator and his wife and then tried to help them move on before they were ready.
The story is a quick read, and it shows the anger and frustrations a parent feels over the loss of a child. It includes evidence, such as the letters from the airline explaining their procedures, to help show what the narrator was thinking and feeling. But I think it could have gone deeper. Considering the subject matter, that is a lot to ask, but I think it is important if the author wants to reach out to a larger audience.
Overall, A Child Lost in Flight is an engaging and poignant story, and judging by the number of reviews it has received on Amazon, I would say it has done a good job of bringing people together and shedding light on a tragedy and otherwise unreported plane incident.
My heart goes out to the author and his family, and I hope they have since been able to find some peace and move on with their lives.