The Art Of Crash Landing: A Novel by Melissa DecarloThe Art Of Crash Landing: A Novel by Melissa Decarlo

The Art Of Crash Landing: A Novel

byMelissa Decarlo

Paperback | September 8, 2015

Pricing and Purchase Info

$17.67 online 
$19.99 list price save 11%
Earn 88 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


From a bright new talent comes this debut novel about a young woman who travels for the first time to her mother’s hometown, and gets sucked into the mystery that changed her family forever

Mattie Wallace has really screwed up this time. Broke and knocked up, she’s got all her worldly possessions crammed into six giant trash bags, and nowhere to go. Try as she might, Mattie can no longer deny that she really is turning into her mother, a broken alcoholic who never met a bad choice she didn’t make.

When Mattie gets news of a possible inheritance left by a grandmother she’s never met, she jumps at this one last chance to turn things around. Leaving the Florida Panhandle, she drives eight hundred miles to her mother’s birthplace—the tiny town of Gandy, Oklahoma. There, she soon learns that her mother remains a local mystery—a happy, talented teenager who inexplicably skipped town thirty-five years ago with nothing but the clothes on her back. But the girl they describe bears little resemblance to the damaged woman Mattie knew, and before long it becomes clear that something terrible happened to her mother, and it happened here. The harder Mattie digs for answers, the more obstacles she encounters. Giving up, however, isn’t an option. Uncovering what started her mother’s downward spiral might be the only way to stop her own.

Hilarious, gripping, and unexpectedly wise, The Art of Crash Landing is a poignant novel from an assured new voice.

Melissa DeCarlo was born and raised in Oklahoma City, and has worked as an artist, graphic designer, grant writer, and even (back when computers were the size of refrigerators) a computer programmer.The Art of Crash Landingis her first novel. Melissa now lives in East Texas with her husband and a motley crew of rescue animals.
Title:The Art Of Crash Landing: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:432 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.97 inPublished:September 8, 2015Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062390546

ISBN - 13:9780062390547

Look for similar items by category:


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read! I have to admit, it took me a bit of time to get into this book. I didn't love Mattie at first, but once I started to learn more about her past, I began to understand where her quirks came from. I flew through the rest of this novel and couldn't wait to find out more about her family and her mother's past. Mattie's progression as a character was realistic and interesting to follow, and I really grew to like her by the end of the book. All in all, it was a great read with a bit of mystery, a lot of laughs, and real characters.
Date published: 2017-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favourite reads for 2015 Oh, do you ever get that delicious little frisson of excitement when you read the first few chapters of a book and realize you've stumbled across what is going to be a really, really good read? Melissa DeCarlo's debut novel, The Art of Crash Landing is one of those books - I absolutely loved it! Mattie Wallace is 30 years old. And pregnant. And homeless. And broke. Screwing up her life is nothing new for Mattie. She's a bit (well maybe a bit more than a bit) of a train wreck. When she finds out that she has inherited her grandmother's house in Gandy, Oklahoma it's a bit of a surprise - Mattie had no idea she had a grandmother. Her alcoholic mother never mentioned where she grew up or that her own mother was alive. With nowhere else to go, Gandy is the the direction she steers her mother's old Malibu. "There was a time when I believed my whole life stretched before me, rich with promise. Now? Not so much. But when she arrives in Gandy, no one really wants to talk about her mother. And the ones that do paint a very different picture from the mother Mattie grew up with. Where to start. First off, I really didn't like Mattie at all in the first few chapters. She's abrasive, manipulative and self serving. Or is that just a way to protect herself from hurt and disappointment? As the book progresses, there are glimpses into the Mattie beneath that exterior. And I found myself soundly in Mattie's corner, hoping she can find the promise in life again. "Sometimes my entire life has felt like one long exercise in lowering my expectations." Gandy is populated by a varied and eclectic cast of characters, many who are just as prickly as Mattie, yet oddly compelling. So many of them appealed to me - one was Fritter the librarian. (And as someone who works in a library, I found myself laughing out loud at some library scenes that were spot on) But I think that Queeg, Mattie's stepfather, is my favourite. His quiet, understated, unfaltering love for Mattie is moving. As Mattie continues to ask questions around town about her mother, the mystery deepens. What happened thirty five years ago to her mother? From the girl Gandy knew to the single woman who gave birth to Mattie? And as Mattie pursues answers, she also remembers her Mom - and the reader learns more about both women. DeCarlo kept me completely off balance as I read - I had no idea where the story was going to go and many of the character's revelations were so unexpected. Her plotting is fresh, original and just so darn good. The Art of Crash Landing is absolutely one of my favourite reads for 2015.
Date published: 2015-09-30

Editorial Reviews

“Plucky, bold and authentic, and I defy anyone not to fall in love with this story.”