“When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.” ~ Viktor E. Frankl
Richard Abbott, of 'Aviophobia' by Serena Yates, has worked for years to gain superior IT skills. He hates flying and has always done everything he can to avoid it. Unfortunately, his boss gives him a promotion which will require frequent air travel. Will Richard turn down the job and risk losing all his hard earned experience, or does he do what he can to overcome his fear of flying? Terrified but determined, Richard gets on a plane for his first flight. Richard becomes friends with his fellow passenger, Camden Marsh, which makes the flight more palatable.
Richard has followed the rules all of his life; he's gone above and beyond in order to succeed in his career. When Richard is promoted, the first thing his boss wants is for Richard to fly to a big meeting in Chicago. Since Richard is terrified of flying, he knows he must take drastic measures to get over his fear. With the support of his best friend, Theo, Richard comes up with a plan to help him over his aviophobia that entails taking a class designed for his problem. Once that is done, Richard boards the plane for Chicago and takes his seat. He introduces himself to Camden, a fellow traveler, who is sitting in the seat beside him. They engage in pleasant conversation, passing the time and forming a bond between them. When the plane goes down, Richard is knocked unconscious; but when he wakes up in the hospital, his first concern is for Camden, who, fortunately, has survived as well. Since they are being treated in the same hospital, they are soon happily reunited. When it comes time to leave the hospital, Richard decides to stay with Camden for a while, especially since he needs some assistance due to his broken leg. It allows for the men to get to know each other better and offers an opportunity to be with someone who has just gone through the same experience so they can help each other heal.
Instead of giving Richard the time he needs to process his dreadful experience, his boss calls wanting him to come back to work right away. His insensitivity causes Richard to reevaluate his career plans. Does he really want to work for someone who is going to make him miserable at every turn? Richard knows what will happen if he caves in and goes back too early, before he's physically and emotionally ready. He has had a life-changing event; he needs time to sort it all out and find a new normal. Camden is wonderfully supportive and, although he wants to counsel Richard, he refrains from doing so. He makes suggestions and offers advice, as he grows more attached to Richard every day. Richard also wants to be with Camden so they can explore their budding relationship. With the advice and support of Camden and Theo, Richard decides to confront his boss once and for all. Richard isn't going to be held back from being the man he needs to be. He's no longer afraid of flying in a plane, or of flying his own flag for all to see.
Richard and Camden are wonderful men, brought together by a tragedy, but brave and grateful enough to take advantage of the precious gift of another chance; they grab it with both hands and are determined to make their lives more positive and meaningful. Not everyone can do this, but Richard and Camden are able to shape themselves and their lives into a more productive, happier existence. If you like to read about adversity, angst, second chances, friendship, respect, standing up for one's self against bullying, and of course, a happy ending, this book may appeal to you. Thank you, Serena, for reminding me to take advantage of opportunities which come my way, regardless of their origin; and for giving Richard and Camden their happy ever after.