Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Book Review: "Fling" by Lily Iona MacKenzie.

I'm so excited to share my review of Fling by Lily Iona Mackenzie. Lovers of magical realism, this one's for you!


Fling takes the reader on a magical journey from Scotland to Canada to Mexico. One part fictional memoir encompassing nearly a decade of living, one part portrait of a strained yet matured mother-daughter relationship and one part fantasy, Fling is anything but your mundane read!

With rich characters and vibrant settings, Fling focuses on the lives of Feather and her mother, Bubbles as they travel to Mexico to reclaim the ashes of Bubbles' long deceased mother. As the story progresses, we learn of the trials and tribulations of Bubbles' last ninety years, how she once left her daughter, Feather, behind just as Bubbles' own mother once left her and how these three generations of woman are actually all named Heather, despite the nicknames they eventually chose to reflect their individual personalities.

Magical realism dominates much of the last third of the book. At times, it feels as if Feather and Bubbles have followed "Alice" down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. Except, in this story, Wonderland is rural and impoverished Mexico and it exists on a parallel plane where death is merely another state of living.

If you aren't able to take an adventurous vacation this year, Fling is the next best alternative. You won't soon forget Bubbles whose effervescent name matches her buoyant ability to never act nor succumb to her advanced age.


The actual feather we found!
As I sat outside writing this review one pleasant summer afternoon, my son, Evan, playing
at my feet with his toy dinosaur collection happened to discover a feather. Yes, a feather, just like the name of the daughter's character in Fling. Evan and I decided with its orange and white coloring that it must belong to the oriole we see frequenting our yard from time to time. Of course, with magical realism still on my mind, a quick internet search revealed the finding of feathers as a spiritual symbol, perhaps from angels, with the color orange representing creativity and success from maintaining a positive outlook.  

Thank you to WOW - Women on Writing for providing this stop on Lily Iona Mackenzie's blog tour!

About the Author:
A Canadian by birth, a high school dropout, and a mother at 17, in her early years, Lily Iona MacKenzie supported herself as a stock girl in the Hudson’s Bay Company, as a long distance operator for the former Alberta Government Telephones, and as a secretary (Bechtel Corp sponsored her into the States). She also was a cocktail waitress at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, briefly broke into the male-dominated world of the docks as a longshoreman (and almost got her legs broken), founded and managed a homeless shelter in Marin County, and eventually earned two Master’s degrees (one in Creative writing and one in the Humanities). She has published reviews, interviews, short fiction, poetry, travel pieces, essays, and memoir in over 140 American and Canadian venues. Fling, one of her novels, will be published in July 2015 by Pen-L Publishing. Bone Songs, another novel, will be published in 2016. Her poetry collection All This was published in 2011. She also teaches writing at the University of San Francisco, is vice-president of USF's part-time faculty union, paints, and travels widely with her husband. 

Visit her blog at:


Book Summary: 

When ninety-year-old Bubbles receives a letter from Mexico City asking her to pick up her mother’s ashes, lost there seventy years earlier and only now surfacing, she hatches a plan. A woman with a mission, Bubbles convinces her hippie daughter Feather to accompany her on the quest. Both women have recently shed husbands and have a secondary agenda: they’d like a little action. And they get it. 

Alternating narratives weave together Feather and Bubbles’ odyssey. The two women travel south from Canada to Mexico where Bubbles’ long-dead mother, grandmother, and grandfather turn up, enlivening the narrative with their hilarious antics. 

In Mexico, where reality and magic co-exist, Feather gets a new sense of her mother, and Bubbles’ quest for her mother’s ashes—and a new man—increases her zest for life. Unlike most women her age, fun-loving Bubbles takes risks, believing she’s immortal. She doesn’t hold back in any way, eating heartily and lusting after strangers, exulting in her youthful spirit.

Readers will believe they’ve found the fountain of youth themselves in this character. At ninety, Bubbles comes into her own, coming to age, proving it’s never too late to fulfill one’s dreams.  

For information about blog hostess, Audry Fryer,
please visit www.audryfryer.com

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for such a sensitive reading of the book, Audry, though this is more invention than memoir. Still, you thoroughly capture the spirit of Fling! and its characters. I would love it if you could post your review at one or all of the following sites:





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