Decades ago, Trudy, Georgia, and Aunt Star formed a code of silence to protect each other from an abusive man who terrorized their family. One act of solidarity long ago lives with them still. With the election of a president who brags about groping women without their consent, old wounds and deep secrets come alive again, forcing hard truths to be told and even harder truths to be left to the dead.
On the outskirts of Pardon, New Mexico, Trudy returns to her mother, Jewel, to navigate an old house filled with haunting mementos of her father who went missing in action over North Vietnam. As she helps her mother sift through the memories and finally lay her father to rest, Trudy will do her own soul searching to say goodbye to the dead, and find her way along with the other women in her family, and through the next election.
Featured on Authors on the Air Global Radio Network with Jonathan Haupt, Executive Director of the Pat Conroy Literary Center
"Kathleen Rodgers's THE FLYING CUTTERBUCKS, pitched as a serving of "Fried Green Tomatoes" set against the backdrop of presidential elections for the #MeToo and #ShePersists generation; centering on a Gold Star family of a fighter pilot MIA in Vietnam and the women he left behind; exposing the collateral damage - of war, rape, racism toward Latinos, elections, patriarchies, and false patriotism - while supplying the satisfaction of action, resistance, and a strong female cast's fight against oppression, to Nancy Cleary at Wyatt-MacKenzie for publication in summer 2020, by Diane Nine of Nine Speakers Agency (world).
Available at most online retailers, including indie bookshops. If you wish to support local bookshops, you can place your order online and have your item mailed directly to your home.
“In a world that’s been turned upside down following the 2016 presidential election, the women of The Flying
Cutterbucks pull together through the uncertainty, trying to find hope for the future.”
— Michael Cole, “Pete Cochran” on The Mod Squad, and author of I Played the White Guy
"When national politics triggers a buried family secret, the Cutterbuck women do what they do best, persevere. Their story is the story of a resilient American family, fragile in its unmitigated loss, triumphant in the ties that bind. With a page-turning narrative and an authentic sense of place, The Flying Cutterbucks will make you laugh and cry, while never forgetting the voices of Jewel, Aunt Star, Trudy, and Georgia."
–Johnnie Bernhard, author of Sisters of the Undertow
“Rodgers skillfully spins a poignant and necessary story about grief, buried memories, and the struggle to come to terms with the past. With sensitivity and an insider’s awareness, Rodgers honors the resiliency of military wives and children. Moving and deeply affecting, The Flying Cutterbucks will make you cry, laugh, and salute the courage and strength of women. Rodgers’ remarkable Cutterbuck family will stay in your heart long after you finish the last page.”
–Ann Weisgarber, author of The Promise
“With a cast of strong women characters--mother, daughters, sisters, friends--this novel about truth-telling is set in a small town in New Mexico after Donald Trump is elected. It's the perfect backdrop to this exploration of ending the silence and secrets women keep.”
–Jill Swenson, retired journalism professor
“In her new novel, The Flying Cutterbucks, Kathleen M. Rodgers draws the reader into the world of fifty-something Trudy Cutterbuck, who returns to her childhood home of Pardon, New Mexico—to help her aging mother, but also to figure out her own life, and grapple with some secrets she’s been hiding for decades. Set around the time of the 2016 presidential election, The Flying Cutterbucks tells a compelling story that links the characters’ personal lives to the larger events swirling around them. A wonderful book!”
–Deborah Kalb, writer, editor, and book blogger
Mixing raucous hilarity and rakish commentary with a deft hand, author Kathleen M. Rodgers introduces readers to The Flying Cutterbucks, a military family of willful, spirited women. Recently retired from her job as an airline stewardess, Trudy has returned home to Pardon, New Mexico, to see after her mother Jewel, an aging beauty queen whose husband, a pilot, has been MIA in Vietnam all these years. Secrets abound between Trudy, younger sister Georgia and mother Jewel. Readers will laugh and cry along with The Flying Cutterbucks as the women try their darndest to heal old hurts while remaining open to new adventures. Rodgers delightfully captures the strength and vulnerability common to military families, to women, the world over.
–Karen Spears Zacharias, Gold Star daughter, author of After the Flag has been Folded (William Morrow/HarperCollins)
In our sad state of political discord and growing accounts of “Me Too,” Kathleen Rodgers has an unflinching ability to write stories that matter. The Flying Cutterbucks is a WOW of a book. The Cutterbucks, a Gold Star family, have a major skeleton in the closet as a result of a sexual assault on one of the women when she was still a girl. As this internal wound continues to eat at their souls, the family also combats the ugliness of targeted racism in their community and a national administration devoid of progress toward inclusiveness. Kathleen, however, eloquently gives readers pleasure, too, as they get to know this family of strong women - including a bit of romance - and the beauty of New Mexico, their home.
–Anita Martin, Postcards & Authors, book blogger
"Settle in for an insightful, entertaining read! Accentuated with vivid detail, “The Flying Cutterbucks,” immediately draws the reader into the heart of the Cutterbuck women and their experiences. Current events are woven together with mystery, family history, and reassuring nostalgia. This is compelling storytelling that keeps the reader engaged to the very last line."
–Rosa Walston Latimer, award-winning author of a series of books about the establishment of Harvey Houses along the Santa Fe Railroad
In her new book, The Flying Cutterbucks, Kathleen Rodgers weaves a story that is part mystery, part romance, part social commentary—and all heart. Readers will enjoy each twist of this compelling tale as it winds its way along the gravel backroads and small-town streets of rural New Mexico, pursued by the shadows of long-held family secrets.
—Terri Barnes, author of Spouse Calls: Messages From a Military Life
Whenever a writer with such skill and sensitivity as Kathleen Rodgers publishes a novel, we must, for our own sake, read it. The Flying Cutterbucks is a profound and moving portrait of family, friendship, and forgiveness.
-Allen Mendenhall, Editor, Southern Literary Review
In The Flying Cutterbucks, author Kathleen Rodgers has written the 21st century version of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women with a wonderfully engrossing updated twist. The Flying Cutterbucks is a testament to Rodgers' extraordinary skill as a writer, sweeping you into a compelling story with vivid characters that are so well written as to feel as if you are there with your neighbors and friends. Bravo!
-Dwight Jon Zimmerman, #1 New York Times bestselling author
In The Flying Cutterbucks, Kathleen M. Rodgers has created a family of close-knit, funny, wise, resilient women and the people who matter to them. If waiting is a kind of strength in this novel, action is another, and this book is a call to action for our current time: action through empathy, advocacy, and even simple presence. I loved spending time with the Cutterbuck women, who have the kind of strength, compassion, and humor that make Kathleen Rodgers a terrific writer and this novel a joy to read."
–Andria Williams, author of The Longest Night (Random House, 2016)
The Flying Cutterbucks is a powerful story of women returning from the dead (in a manner of speaking) to finally recover not just from assault and secrets, but from the lasting patterns, habits, and the alienation that stemmed from it. It will immerse readers in a world of discovery, recovery, and revised family lives, and is highly recommended for readers seeking an evocative, compelling story of family relationships and change.
— MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
Thorndike Press, the leading large print publisher in the United States, released Johnnie Come Lately and Seven Wings to Glory in early 2018. Libraries across the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are carrying the novels.
Both books are also available at most online retailers, including Amazon, B&N, Target, Walmart, and independent booksellers through Indie Bound.
“Johnnie Come Lately evokes the pathos of family life—secrets, betrayals, misunderstandings, heartbreak, and just enough love and forgiveness to make it all worth it. Kathleen M. Rodgers treats her haunted characters with keen insight and empathy, offering them the second, third, fourth chances that all of us flawed human beings need.”
Siobhan Fallon, author of You Know When the Men Are Gone and The Confusion of Languages
“The Kitchen family could be any wholesome All-American family, and like any family, they have secrets. In Johnnie Come Lately, Kathleen Rodgers brings to life an extended family that could be yours or mine. Their secrets will draw you into this book, and Rodgers' characters -- from Johnnie Kitchen to her lovable chocolate lab, Brother Dog -- will jump off the page, grab your heart, and won’t let it go until the very end.”
Terri Barnes, author of Spouse Calls: Messages From a Military Life and a former columnist for Stars and Stripes
The audio edition of Johnnie Come Lately is narrated by Grammy® Award-winning vocalist and Broadway actress Leslie Ellis.
“Seven Wings to Glory humorously captures the gamut of emotions common to military families dealing with deployments, homecomings, and the struggle to make everyday living as routine as their civilian counterparts. Kathleen M. Rodgers, herself a military wife and mom, expertly characterizes the soaring pride and gripping fear of life in the military. Set against a backdrop of racial discord, Seven Wings to Glory will make its mark on readers, ensuring they never forget that as long as one of us is denied freedom there can be no true freedom for the rest of us.”
—Karen Spears Zacharias, Gold Star daughter and author of After the Flag Has Been Folded: A Daughter Remembers the Father She Lost to War. She's also penned several other books, including the novels Mother of Rain, Burdy, and Christian Bend.
“I adore the flawed, imperfect, deeply loving, and tough-as-nails Kitchen family: I would read a hundred books about them, and I will read anything Kathleen M. Rodgers writes.”
—Andria Williams, author of The Longest Night and founder of Military Spouse Book Review