Aloft, written by Chang-rae Lee, is the story of Jerry Battle, an Italian-American, semi-retired landscaper who managed the company established by his father and now run by his son. Jerry often indulges himself by flying his small airplane above Long Island for hours at a time. This is symbolic of how the soon-to-be sixty- year old man manages his life, keeping family and friends at a distance. Then, circumstances within the family change and Jerry must modify his relationships with several family members, opening up to them before it is too late.
The serious tone of Aloft is expressed through a retelling of the tragic and comic events in Jerry's past and present, yet a satirical bent is present in the description of his money-conscious world in which his neighbors believe that their self-worth is calculated by the latest home improvement or large purchase.
This book is the "Long Island Reads" selection for 2008.