by Ash B.
If you’re looking for a heartwarming read that is thought-provoking, discussable, and hilarious, look no further than Skye Falling by Mia McKenzie.
Skye is an elder millennial who is quickly approaching her 40th birthday, and she has no interest in ‘settling down’ or having any deep sort of meaningful human connection. The successful founder of a small travel company, Skye has spent years adventuring around the world in the fleeting company of strangers… which has provided her the perfect opportunity to avoid lasting relationships of any kind.
In short, Skye has an impressive career but she is a hot mess when it comes to her personal life.
Her brief returns to her hometown, Philadelphia, usually consist of crashing at her friend’s B&B, dodging her brother’s calls about their chronically ill mother, and planning for upcoming trips she will lead for work. She typically does not spend this time reflecting on the past or dredging up emotions that she has long since buried.
So, when she finds that the egg she donated over a decade ago has actually developed into a real human child – now a twelve year old girl, to be exact – her initial reaction is to run. Literally. Skye tries to run and hide from this girl, Vicky, who introduces herself as “your egg.” But it turns out Vicky is actually pretty cool… so cool that Skye might want to stick around and try to be responsible for the first time in her life.
However, this is complicated by the fact that Vicky’s aunt and caretaker is not a big fan of Skye, at least not at first. But, as they get closer, let’s just say the tension between these two women isn’t solely about their different approaches to parenting…
In the interest of avoiding spoilers, believe me when I say McKenzie is a master of comedic writing. The outrageous situations she puts her characters in, and the figurative language she uses to describe them, is top tier. Not to mention her hilarious one-liners, too!
This novel isn’t just funny, though – it is emotionally rich and insightful about a range of issues from family trauma and fractured friendships to gentrification and policing. McKenzie creates an engaging balance between humor and tragedy, joy and anger, fear and love. The result is a feel-good, fun book that holds space and respect for serious topics that are part of everyday life.
This is ultimately what makes Skye Falling one of my favorite 2021 releases, and I believe it is also what makes it a great choice for book club discussions – which is why I included it on the HCLS 2022 Books for Discussion list (which you should take a look at for more reading suggestions).
While I think Skye Falling can appeal to a variety of readers, I would particularly recommend this title to lovers of Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers. Both novels center queer Black women who put pause on their careers in order to sort out personal relationships, figure out what they are doing with their lives, and eventually begin to process their complicated relationships with their parents. They each have rom-com elements without that being the entire plot, are full of millennial humor (albeit on different ends of the generation), and celebrate friendship and chosen family. I wholeheartedly recommend both!
Ash is an Instructor & Research Specialist at Central Branch and is a co-facilitator for Reads of Acceptance, HCLS’ first LGBTQ-focused book club. This time of year, they are especially fond of reading while cuddling with their golden retriever and sipping hot cocoa or tea.