A TIME Best Book of the Summer • One of The Week's Best Novels of 2022 • A lusty young woman seeks out experience on a remote Alaskan homestead in this erotic and darkly humorous novel that "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" (Rachel Yoder, author of Nightbitch).
"Humor, insight and just the right amount of raunch."—Angela Flournoy, author of The Turner House
"Sexy and dark and strange and absolutely perfect."—Carmen Maria Machado, author of In the Dream House
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.
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.