Member Reviews

In her unique voice, with her vast knowledge of and appreciation for the natural world, Cheryl Grey Bostrom’s done it again. For those who loved her debut novel Sugar Birds, her new release Leaning on Air (which can be read as a stand-alone) continues the love story. With all the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, the magnificence of nature, the symbolism of birds, and the depth of authentic, unique relationships, Bostrom weaves a tale that not only keeps readers on the edge of their seats but teaches them more about the wild world of the living--creatures, trees and plants—and how humankinds’ call to care for such is one of life’s most marvelous gifts. I simply can’t imagine how anyone who reads this story won’t come away with a greater appreciation for life in all its forms, not to mention, a deeper understanding of the Creator’s love for those made uniquely in His image, to whom He gave the special job of caring for the earth. With wit and wisdom, this story will make you cry both happy and tender tears, and you just won’t want it to end. Leaning on Air is one to be shared with others and to be read again and again.

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Wow, just wow! Has a book that you didn’t stay up past your bedtime to read kept you awake thinking about it? Or have you ever started to pray for a person and then remembered that she is a fictional character? That’s how Cheryl Bostrom’s novel, Leaning on Air, affected me. Do you know someone on the autism spectrum? Read this book. Have you struggled with unmet expectations in your marriage? Read this book. Did you grow up with a dysfunctional parent? Read this book. I cannot recommend it highly enough! And the author’s prose is lyrical. It is a joy to read.

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Leaning on Air revisits Celia and Burnaby from Cheryl’s first novel, Sugar Birds.
Much has changed; some things have not. Celia is an older version of her seemingly carefree, yet careless, self, while Burnaby has matured, his insecurities giving way to wisdom.
They meet again, quite by accident, and are quickly drawn into each other’s lives. But pain and loss tear them apart, leaving each bewildered—how does a deep love seem to vanish into thin air? When is it time to let go? When is it time to lean in?
You needn’t have read Sugar Birds to draw out the richness of Leaning on Air. Both novels are captivating and can stand on their own
Cheryl Bostrom is an amazing writer: her insight into the complexity of the human heart is so clearly expressed, the beauty of nature surrounds her stories, and her research takes her novels beyond storytelling into learning.

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I was provided with an Advanced Readers Copy by Net Galley of Leaning On Air. After I finished reading Sugar Birds, I was already looking forward to a sequel. As with Ms. Bostrom’s previous book, the writing was exquisite. The development of the characters of Celia and Burnaby as they progressed from their academic to their professional careers was magnificently crafted, without feeling forced.

As new characters are introduced into the storyline, their additions become an integral part as well as very natural. You become emotionally invested with all of the characters in the book as it develops.

The setting of Southeastern Washington State, known as the Palouse, functions as a key character in Leaning On Air too. From the detailed descriptions of the geography of the region to the actual agricultural practices of farming, particular wheat, Ms. Bostrom places the reader there. You can visualize everything. How do I know? I grew up there, and still live in the region. My stepdad was an Extension Agent at Washington State University for 33+ years in Pullman, and worked with farmers throughout Eastern Washington. In the summers, I worked along side him in the Soil Fertility Research Lab he led for three years, and two for the USDA Wheat Breeding Lab. I applaud Ms. Bostrom for the in-depth research she did on an under appreciated, and vital profession, wheat land farming. She made it interesting and informative to the layman, without it being boring.

Falconry and Veterinary medicine are woven into the story again. My nephew’s wife is a long time falconer, and with WSU having a top rated Veterinary School in the country, it really is a perfect melding of the two. The inclusion of the University of Idaho, across the state border in Moscow, Idaho, was very appropriate because these two universities share resources, even if they are in different states.

My typical reading genre is true crime (which I happily found element of this in the book) or non-fiction. I describe myself firmly as a secular reader. As in Sugar Birds, Leaning on Air appeals to all reading audiences, whether it’s secular or non secular. In my opinion, if the book had been heavy handed in one direction, I believe the would limit the the books appeal to a wider audience. Ms. Bostrom’s approach of the letting the.reader of the letting the reader ultimately come to their own conclusions is one I personally appreciate.

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The powerful artistry of Bostrom's evocative writing and intricate storyline in "Leaning on Air" compels you to keep turning pages. Your soul aches for her uniquely crafted characters, and, ultimately, for your own losses
I want to thank Tyndale and Net Galley for sending my Advance Reader copy of this amazing book by Cheryl Grey Bostrom.

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This book was a huge suprise to me , at how much I really enjoyed it. A book I will certainly never forget and will always remain in my heart.

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Leaning on Air kept my interest throughout the twist and turns of the novel. Burnaby and Celia couldn’t be more different, and yet, their marriage was working until a heartbreaking tragedy damaged them both.

“His science told him they would meld into the single identity of conjoined atomic particles, and his faith said they would become one in a spiritual world she knew nothing about, a world where he and she and this God of his would be invisible, body and mind and spirit. Marriage would breach every boundary she’d worked so hard to fortify, every barrier she’d built against pain.” (P. 43) The centerpiece of the novel is the relationship between steady, loving, faithful, gracious Burnaby and Celia, so broken by pain and heartache that she can’t trust Burnaby’s love, let alone trust God. And there’s much more.

I heartily recommend this book and thank Tyndale for the advance copy.

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When I read Bostrom’s first book Sugar Birds, I so enjoyed her complex characters, particularly Burnaby, a highly intelligent, awkward, autistic boy, who develops a deep bond with Celia Burke. What a joy to meet these same characters again in the pages of Leaning on Air. Grown-up Burnaby exudes such wisdom, self-awareness, and logical thinking, all traits that give him an unusual strength. As he and Celia weave their adult lives together, they discover how their differences pull them together but also pull them apart.

Once again, Bostrom masterfully crafts compassionate, complex characters set against a rich sensory landscape—the Palouse region in southeast Washington.

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In LEANING ON AIR, author Cheryl Grey Bostrom offers a beautiful continuation of Celia and Burnaby's story that's filled with grief and unexpected turns. Like her book SUGAR BIRDS, Bostrom's descriptions of nature are gorgeous and captivating. She is also thoughtful in her portrayals of how different characters walk through sorrow in light of their Christian faith. I love how the book captures relationships across multiple generations, and gives us peeks into different characters' perspectives. Readers who enjoy exploring themes of marriage, grief, and special abilities are sure to enjoy LEANING ON AIR.

Thank you to Tyndale and NetGalley for the advance copy!

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Reading this novel felt like hiking through a wondrous, flourishing ecosystem. Some spots invited moments to pause and take in the beauty. Others created joyful anticipation of what the following pages would reveal. The terrain’s not wholly beautiful, though; some sections elicited angst, too. I held my breath a couple of times.

Leaning on Air is lush with passages to highlight. Cheryl Grey Bostrom expresses thought, emotion, and experience with words that have obviously grown through a fertile soil of poetic imagination and under a rainfall of God-given knowledge and insight. This is a story of undeniable love stretched thin from personal grief, painful choices, nefarious encounters, and spiritual disparity. The challenges that accompany autism, synesthesia, and depression fray Burnaby’s and Celia’s rope of love even more. It’s also a story of connections lost and found, extraordinary patience and grace, a child’s assumptions about a witnessed tragedy, and how science points to our Creator and Savior. A special bonus for me as a nature-lover was the author’s obvious love, knowledge, and respect for nature, too.

Here's one of the many passages I’ve highlighted:

“If that little hawk can plow through smoldering charcoal without a tail and still think about flying, so can I, I guess.”

I had the pleasure of reading an Advanced Reader Copy—Thank you Tyndale and Net Galley—but I can’t wait to receive the book I’ve preordered to give a friend. Leaning on Air is available for preorder now. I’m going to encourage my reading friends to purchase it.

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Captivating, Educational, Wise

I leaned into this work of art and found myself carried by the exquisite detail woven through every aspect of story - relational, scientific, spiritual, mental, emotional. A thoroughly engaging read that's held my mind for weeks.

Thank you for the advance copy!!

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Leaning on Air, by author Cheryl Bostrom, is a beautifully written, thought-provoking book. I would encourage everyone to take the time to read it. You will get to know the characters so well you will think of them when you aren’t reading. The descriptions of the areas in which they live and work will be so inviting, you’ll want to take a Sunday afternoon drive to see them. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you will ache for them as they traverse through life’s ups and downs. You will think about how you treat others who are perhaps a little different or perhaps not as fortunate as you. Leaning on Air is a book which should be on everyone’s TBR list.

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Unusual story about a woman who marries a man on the autism spectrum. That's in itself is an adjustment but when tragedy strikes years later, their marriage is threatened. Set against the nature and farming background of Washington, it's a story of love, hope and faith.

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Leaning on Air is a captivating book that had me pondering the characters and multiple layers throughout the day. I couldn't wait to pick it back up at night and continue reading.

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Cheryl Grey Bostrom has done it again! Taking Celia and Burnaby into adulthood, she weaves love, adventure, crisis and mystery into their life together. The emotions are raw, the storyline real, and the setting rapturous. Cheryl's vivid descriptions and perfectly chosen metaphors are instrumental in losing oneself into the lives of the characters. The themes of love, sacrifice and forgiveness are prominently displayed mirroring the work of Jesus, the Savior for all. In the end, Celia responds to the love found in forgiveness and is able to even forgive herself.

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I have been waiting to re-connect with Burnaby and Celia since Sugarbirds. Leaning on Air did not disappoint. The attention to details and descriptions of the surroundings make you feel you are right there with them. I was hooked by the first chapter and couldn't wait to read more....my husband read it in 3 days! Looking forward to book three (another sequel??)

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I don’t remember ever reading a book that was more filled with love than this one. For Leaning on Air is a love story. There is love between a husband and wife, love for family and friends, and love for nature—the land, the flora, the animals. This is also a book about faith and hope, restoration and reconciliation, even when despair and heartache leave little room to believe that things will get better. From the first page I was immersed in the story, captivated by the characters, and enchanted by the Washington state setting. I fell in love with the author’s first book, Sugar Birds, and this book picks up twelve years after Sugar Birds ended—it felt like coming home. I wanted to savor the beautiful language and imagery, as well as the depth of emotion, but at the same time I was anxious to find out where the story would take me. Celia and Burnaby are rich, complex, genuine characters, and they are surrounded by friends and family who fill their lives with wisdom and devotion. There are moments in this book that made me cry, events that left me reeling, but there were many more times that my soul was filled me with wonder. This glorious book will live in my heart for always, just as its predecessor did.

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Leaning on Air is an emotionally rich story that captures the complexities of life and its hardships here on earth intertwined with elements of faith, hope, and love. It was relatable as well as encouraging! Thank you Tyndale and NetGalley for the advance copy!

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Just finished reading Leaning On Air.. The rich description of both characters and circumstances pulled me into their story. The book authentically depicts the joys and heartaches of everyday relationships. Woven throughout is the beautiful thread of hope even in our darkest seasons.

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Leaning on Air is a contemporary Christian romance set in the beautiful Palouse prairie area of Washington state. Celia and Burnaby, an ornithologist and a veterinary surgeon, marry, and one of them is autistic with an aversion to being touched. What could possibly go wrong?

The story features nerdy romance and the sweetest children. One of the kids, five-year-old Cobb, has a few point-of-view chapters. As for the nerdy romance, if you’re not into physics or ornithology, don’t worry, Bostrom explains all the sciency stuff readers need to know. And it’s not dry. It’s interesting!

Leaning on Air is also a story of grief. Grief strikes, and every flaw in Celia and Burnaby’s marriage is magnified. I felt so sorry for them.

The faith element of the story is subtle and comes through strongest in a parable of a god-horse from little Cobb’s point of view. Because the Christian message is so nuanced, the story might hit home for agnostics or for readers who simply feel “spiritual” but don’t identify with any one religion.

I think readers who enjoy clean, contemporary romance will devour this story. It’s so well-written and memorable.

I read an advanced copy of Leaning on Air through NetGalley, and I’m happy to share my honest opinion.

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