Things that Crash, Things that Fly

As a husband and wife make plans for an Italian vacation with friends-to visit her family’s Tuscan village-she makes an unexpected, last-minute addition to the itinerary: she plans to leave him upon their return to the States. And her bombshell includes a strange caveat. He isn’t allowed to breathe a word of it to their traveling companions. So begins Things That Crash, Things That Fly, the groundbreaking new memoir from award-winning writer Scott Gould.

Gould navigates that awkward vacation with his soon-to-be estranged wife in Serra, Italy, then sets out on another, longer journey-a winding route through heartbreak and anger, confusion and futility, despair and discovery. When Gould wangles (under dubious circumstances) a fellowship to research the death of William Guilfoil, a young WWII fighter pilot who crashed and died in the hills near Serra, he instead sets his sights on clarity and closure in his ex-wife’s ancestral home. As he grinds through an uncharted future, his story and Guilfoil’s become intertwined, and Gould gathers the fragments of a fractured heart. With a brutal honesty tempered with surprising humor, he tells us how he begins to stitch them back together.

Things That Crash, Things That Fly is about many things: lost love, daughters and fathers, evaporating marriage, Italian sandals, friendship, bad knees, acrobatic birds, secrecy, oddly placed piercings…but most of all, Gould’s inventive memoir is about how it’s truly possible to rise and soar, even after you’ve struck the ground.