book cover of The Seaplane on Final Approach
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The Seaplane on Final Approach

A novel by

An electrifying debut novel about a young woman and her desire for sleaze, whose idyllic summer on a remote Alaskan homestead takes a disturbing turn.

"Sexy and dark and strange and absolutely perfect."
Carmen Maria Machado

"Puppy love meets jaded lust to dance their death spiral inside
a young woman's head ... I ate it up."
Nell Zink

Tourists arrive all summer, by boat or seaplane, at Stu and Maureen Jenkins's Lavender Island Wilderness Lodge in the Kodiak Archipelago, expecting adventure. But the spontaneity of their authentic Alaskan wilderness experience is meticulously scripted, except when real danger rears its head. Stu and Maureen's lodge is failing, as is their marriage.

Mira has been hired for the season as the lodge's baker and housekeeper. But she's also busy gleefully nursing twin obsessions: building a working theory of what constitutes 'sleaze' and pursuing a young fisherman she deems the embodiment of all things deliciously sleazy. Her plans become more perverse and elaborate, even as life on Lavender Island starts to unravel.

By midseason, it becomes clear that Stu, the jovial, predatory patriarch of the lodge, has turned his sexual attentions to another young employee. As the mood of the lodge spirals into chaos, the inhabitants realize just how isolated Lavender Island really is.

Hilarious, sensual, and charged with menace,
The Seaplane on Final Approach brilliantly illuminates the mirage-thin line between the artificial and the feral. In this daring and psychologically razor-sharp debut, Rukeyser's characters tear aside the facade of good manners to reveal all of our deepest needs and naked desires.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"Every unhappy Alaskan nature resort is unhappy in its own way, as Rebecca Rukeyser demonstrates with irresistible elan in this stunning debut novel. The Seaplane on Final Approach is funny, sensual, elegiac, and phenomenally perceptive. It had me turning pages as I would follow a beautiful forest path frequented by grizzly bears: alert, enthralled, both avid and apprehensive to find what lies beyond the bend. Rukeyser is a wonderfully compassionate and original writer, and this novel is not to be missed." - Tom Drury

"The Seaplane on Final Approach is an adventure story about the peculiar fantasies that make up our ideas about adventure in the first place. It is a tender trickster of a novel, told with humor, insight and just the right amount of raunch, and readers will delight in Rukeyser's singular storytelling prowess. Read it now." - Angela Flournoy

"Rebecca Rukeyser has crafted a novel that is a kind of anti-coming of age ballad, a celebration of taking the wrong paths in life, the beauty of what mistakes can teach us about ourselves. The Seaplane On Final Approach will bring you to a remote Alaskan island and leave you unsettled, unsure of how to return to the mainland. A debut that will be praised for its darkness and humor, but should be read for its deep sensitivity." - Jean Kyoung Frazier

"I didn't realize how much I needed this lusty, funny, heartbreaking book until I devoured it in a single sitting. The Seaplane on Final Approach is a novel set at the edge of the world, about people who belong everywhere and nowhere and the vast, unknowable wilderness of desire. A sharp, flawless debut. Sexy and dark and strange and absolutely perfect." - Carmen Maria Machado

"Brilliant and possibly the horniest thing I've ever read. But this is Advanced Horniness, the kind that can see the sex in phone book listings, vicarious jealousy, five thousand dollars, and the cold devouring ocean. It's as if Muriel Spark got seasick and dropped molly instead of dramamine." - Tony Tulathimutte

"Erotic possibility and inevitable ruin animate the Alaskan wilderness in this astounding debut about the first summer of the rest of your life. The Seaplane on Final Approach perfectly telegraphs the suspended animation of tourist-trap life within an eerie life-changing season, the gravity of which will only be felt decades later. Original and adventurous, horny and hilarious--it's everything I want from a book." - Rachel Yoder

"An age-old story--puppy love meets jaded lust to dance their death spiral inside a young woman's head--told with the shameless authenticity of 2022. I ate it up." - Nell Zink

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