WHEN EVERYTHING WAS FALLING APART, SOMEONE FELL INTO PLACE... 

Suburban housewife Harriet spends her days doing what she’s worst at. Formerly a local radio host, now she grocery shops for her family who has too much to eat, parents a son who refuses to communicate with her, and tries to be a wife to a man who hasn’t embraced her in years. But what starts out as a mundane trip to the supermarket turns her world upside down when a mysterious man named Yacub falls out of the sky from the landing gear of an airplane and lands on her car in the parking lot—and survives. He’s starving and he’s freezing cold. What can she do but bring him home to her family? 

Suddenly her son has stepped away from the video games and her husband is looking at her once again—even if it’s because they think she’s crazy for taking in a complete stranger stinking of petrol. And who is Yacub, this young man who escaped from a Dubai labor camp and stowed away in the belly of the plane to travel around the world? And is it a coincidence that he’s dropped into Harriet’s life just at the moment when a long-buried secret from her past threatens to come to light? 

Inspired by real-life accounts of airplane stowaways, Landing Gear is a highly imaginative story of colliding worlds and extraordinary connections in an age where we may have the world at the touch of a screen, but might need some help seeing what’s right in front of us. 

PRAISE FOR LANDING GEAR: 

"An extraordinary idea, brilliantly executed" Viv Groskop, Red Magazine 

“Landing Gear is a beautiful and profound story about finding love, peace and meaning in a too-busy world.” Quill and Quire (starred review) 

"Pullinger's empathy for the characters makes them hugely likable, even the truculent streak of adolescence that is Jack" Alfred Hickling, Guardian

"A portrait of a modern nuclear family - explosive, searing - Landing Gear is truly a novel for our brave new world" Merilyn Simonds, author of Convict Lover 

"A wonderful novel, a novel of secrets - each carefully and cleverly revealed, all abetting a propulsive storyline that offers up starting revelations to the very end. This is the work of a writer at the top of her game, and I absolutely loved it." Craig Davidson, author of Cataract City 

"Innovative, enthralling, kinetic and often subversively funny. Alongside Landing Gear's stowaway, Yacub, we freefall and rip a hole right through modern society's illusions of any shared comfort zone. I loved the headlong rush, the imperiled tenderness" Kathleen Winter, author of Annabel 

"A turbulent and exhilarating ride through modern family relationships, our cultural divide and the unexpected things that come crashing into our lives" Brian Francis, author of Natural Order 

"Pulliinger's exquisite writing draws us into a world in which character negotiate between the probable and the all-but-impossible. 'How can they survive this?' we ask ourselves, and then it hits us: we all do." Wayne Grady, author of Emancipation Day

On Platform One of Paddington Station in London, there is a statue of an unknown soldier; he’s reading a letter. On the hundredth anniversary of the declaration of war everyone in the country was invited to take a moment and write that letter. A selection of those letters are published here, in a new kind of war memorial – one made only of words.

In a year of public commemoration ‘Letter to an Unknown Soldier’ invited everyone to step back from the public ceremonies and take a few private moments to think. Providing a space for people to reconsider the familiar imagery we associate with the war memorials – cenotaphs, poppies, and silence – it asked the following questions: if you could say what you want to say about that war, with all we’ve learned since 1914, with all your own experience of life and death to hand, what would you say? If you were able to send a personal message to this soldier, a man who served and was killed during World War One, what would you write?

The response was extraordinary. The invitation was to everyone and, indeed, all sorts of people responded: schoolchildren, pensioners, students, artists, nurses, serving members of the forces and even the Prime Minister. Letters arrived from all over the United Kingdom and beyond, and many well-known writers and personalities contributed.

Opening on 28th June 2014, the centenary of the Sarajevo assassinations, and closing at 11 pm on the night of 4 August 2014, the centenary of the moment when Prime Minister Asquith announced to the House of Commons that Britain had joined the First World War, this book offers a snapshot of what people in this country and across the world were thinking and feeling about the centenary of World War One.

From the award-winning author of The Mistress of Nothing comes a highly imaginative story of colliding worlds and extraordinary connections, revealing the tenuous, often unexpected ties that bind us together.

When everything was falling apart, someone fell into place…

Suburban London housewife Harriet spends her days doing what she’s worst at. She grocery shops for her family who eats too much, parents a son who refuses to communicate, and tries to be a wife to a man who hasn’t embraced her in years. But what starts out as a mundane trip to the supermarket turns her world upside down when a mysterious man named Yacub falls out of the sky from the landing gear of an airplane and lands on her car in the parking lot—and survives. He’s starving and freezing cold—what else can she do other than bring him home to her family?

Suddenly her son has stepped away from the video games and her husband is looking at her once again—even if it’s because they think she’s crazy for taking in a complete stranger who stinks of gas. And just who is Yacub, this young man who escaped from a Dubai labor camp and stowed away in the belly of the plane to travel around the world? Is it an extraordinary coincidence that he’s dropped into Harriet’s life just as a long-buried secret from her past threatens to come to light?

Inspired by real-life accounts of airplane stowaways, Landing Gear showcases the complex texture of modern life, and how we sometimes need help seeing what’s right in front of us.
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