Susan Howatch- The High Flyer

the high flyer


What it’s about:

In the High Flyer, Howatch introduces us to the world of  Carta Graham and her soon to be husband Kim Betz.  Both are navigating extremely successful careers, and whilst Carta faces challenges in her career, altogether her life plan is coming together nicely.  But very quickly it becomes clear that all is not what it seems and the story develops an increasingly chilling narrative, forcing Carta to seek help from what seems a very unlikely source.

What I love:

  1.  A poignant illustration of how the most well-planned existence will can go awry, but that sometimes the alternatives that emerge are better.
  2. Again we meet the characters from the Wonder Worker.  I love it when authors do this, not only is it like meeting old friends, illustrating the passing of time and the evolution of characters you’ve met previously, helps to solidify their identities and makes them feel like real people.
  3. The consistent emphasis on the critical importance of integrating one’s identity and personality.  This is a theme that permeates many of Howatch’s books, and the tranquility and peace that this concept symbolizes is a consistently compelling aspect of her work.

My Favourite Quotes:

  1.  “But Tucker, you can’t just sit here in the heart of the City of London, where wealth and status symbols are worshipped as Gods, and voice these kind of sentiments!  I mean, this is very subversive propaganda you’re spouting, it’s quite contrary to mainstream thinking, it’s in total defiance of the Zeitgeist!”
  2. “For a moment I remembered my life-plan, mapped out in the days when the past could be ignored, the present was always under control and the future was always subject to the power of my will, and as I saw how efficiently this vision had been hacked to pieces I wanted to scream with rage and despair.”
  3. “Haunted, even enslaved by our troubled pasts, we had been chasing fantasies that did not exist, and as we had moved together through our cynical hall of mirrors, the false image had merely multiplied to deceive us further and lead us on into a life unconnected with reality.”

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