WYSO

Book Nook: Maiden Flight, by Harry Haskell

Oct 30, 2016

When Harry Haskell was a boy he had heard about the letters. Harry's grandfather was also named Harry Haskell and he had received the letters from the woman who would become his second wife. She was Katharine Wright-they were love letters she had written to Harry Haskell's grandfather. Harry's sisters told him he probably would not be interested in what they considered to be mushy letters. He didn't read them until he was an adult.
 

Harry's grandfather died before he was born. When he began reading the letters he understood that they are important historical documents. Katharine's brothers were the famous flying duo of Wilbur and Orville Wright. She had a very close bond with Wilbur and Orville. After Wilbur's sudden death Katharine and Orville proceeded with their plans to move into the new Wright home at Hawthorn Hill in Oakwood. Orville assumed that the two of them would live there together for the rest of their lives. When Harry Haskell, who Katharine had known since their time together as students at Oberlin College, resurfaced in Katharine's life, they began to fall in love.

Orville didn't seem to have a clue that his sister was becoming so enamored with Harry Haskell. Now all these years later Harry's grandson has written a book, "Maiden Flight," which captures Katharine's voice and her thoughts in a work of what the author describes as creative non-fiction. He alternates the three voices of Orville, Harry, and Katharine in the form of interlocking sequences in their imagined memoirs. Katharine's voice in "Maiden Flight" is utterly convincing because the author had access to her true voice in those letters. There's passion, intrigue, and heartbreaking tragedy in this story about the woman who is a key figure in the story of the Wright Brothers.

The Book Nook on WYSO is made possible by six local library systems in southwest Ohio:  the Greene County Public LibraryWashington-Centerville Public Library, MidPointe Library SystemClark County Public Library, Dayton Metro Library, and Wright Memorial Public Library.