THE SECRETS OF FLIGHTSecretsFlight_3a2-2

“Through this heartwarming, one-of-a kind tale, author Maggie Leffler reminds us that the most improbable friendships can transform us in the most unexpected ways. A must read!” –Pam Jenoff, international bestselling author of The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach


“The Secrets of Flight by Maggie Leffler is a stunning mystery that unravels piece by piece…  Leffler deftly weaves between the past and present, creating a multi-layered story that will capture not only the nostalgia of a former airplane pilot during WWII but also the immediacy of a young woman’s search for herself among the detritus of family drama. Her characters resonate off of one another, like echoes of the past pushing forward the lives of the present into the future. This ripple effect builds throughout the novel, until the final mystery is revealed…Very rarely is there a book that can equally make emotions soar and crash, taking readers on a complete journey wrought with obstacles and choices that you can only imagine facing. For Mary Browning to have survived them and to have created a satisfying, but not ideal life, is nothing short of miraculous — much like when a heavy metal plane takes to the air with the birds and clouds. The Secrets of Flight by Maggie Leffler is equal parts coming of age story, WWII historical romance, and mystery, and it is so well balanced and amazing, readers will be left spent at the end of the runway.”  —


“Leffler’s narrators are thoughtfully crafted: readers will smile over Mary’s wry humor and Elise’s eye-rolling teenage angst. Leffler also deftly evokes the details of life in the 1940s: food and gasoline rationing, the frustration of limited career choices for women. But the novel is strongest in its sensitive exploration of following one’s dreams, which–like flying a plane–can include both spine-tingling excitement and a high personal cost. Leffler’s narrative carries readers on a journey both thrilling and satisfying.” –Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams (review posted on shelf


“The Secrets of Flight will stay with you for a while with all its layers of life that unfold as you read…The author is a gifted story-teller, and she writes with wit and humor and grace while paying homage – and attention – to the historical details of the period in which she sets her engrossing tale.” —


“Engaging from word one, Maggie Leffler’s latest novel is a mix of not only historical and contemporary but a mix of heartwarming and heartwrenching as well. You will laugh and cry and sink into this story as it envelops you like a warm blanket. Yet, it’s not a sunshine and roses type of story. There is family drama. There is medical drama. There is historical drama. Life isn’t always pretty, and it certainly wasn’t pretty during the era of World War 2 America. While Leffler shines a light on some less than stellar moments, she also spotlights courage and love, as well as faith and hope that endure despite insurmountable odds.”  —


“If I seem to get caught up in the story, it is because Ms. Leffler’s writing allows me to do so. I did not just read a book, I was immersed in it. I was that proverbial fly on the wall that we’d all like to be sometimes…living the story along with the characters. Reading The Secrets of Flight was a pleasure and a most memorable experience. Add this one to your library.” —


“The Secrets of Flight is filled with writers, readers, secrets, life’s lessons, and laugh-out-loud situations…a well-researched, marvelous debut filled with vivid descriptions…funny, endearing, and a must read for historical fiction and women’s fiction fans.” —


“From the first page where the reader is introduced to Mary – on her eighty-seventh birthday, at her writer’s group meeting – to the very last page, I was completely immersed in the lives of Mary Browning and Elyse Strickler…There is so much about The Secrets of Flight that I loved – the gradual revelations of Mary’s past, the reasons for her secretiveness and guilt; the relationship between Mary and Elyse; Elyse growing into young adulthood while Mary deals with advancing age and loneliness; as well as just the characters themselves. I definitely recommend The Secrets of Flight…” —abookgeek


“Maggie Leffler’s The Secrets of Flight offers an enjoyably interesting combination of contemporary and historical storylines, as Mary Browning begins an unlikely friendship with fifteen-year-old Elyse Strickler on her eighty-seventh birthday…Alternating both perspective and time period throughout the novel, Leffler skillfully weaves her chapters together to tell a wonderful story for Mary and Elyse, one full of secrets and drama, love and hope.” —

The story weaves between Mary’s and Elyse’s viewpoints and between the present and the past, creating a compelling narrative that makes the book almost impossible to put down. As the tale progresses, the reader begins to get hints of how Mary’s story intersects with Elyse’s, culminating in a strong tale of redemption and second chances.  Very highly recommended! —

“There are many human dramas unfolding at the same time in “Secrets,” from divorce to first love to grief to the issues of family in all its permutations. The flashbacks to Miri’s flight training feel authentic, and are interesting and believable. Also, the fact that the author is a practicing physician lends authenticity to the hospital scenes (with a kind shout-out to nurses everywhere)…  I absolutely recommend this book.” —

“I was swept up into The Secrets of Flight and read spellbound the whole way through…” —

“The ageless, timeless themes of friendship and family run deeply through Leffler’s heart-wrenching novel. Beautifully and sensitively told in alternating viewpoints, this easy-to-read tale is thought-provoking and memorable.” –RT reviews



“In her sophomore effort, Leffler spins another heartfelt tale about the search for love and acceptance, focusing on minor characters from her debut, The Diagnosis of Love. Di, a young woman with a two-year-old son, was kidnapped as a child by her mother and taken to England. Now, she’s returned to the U.S., hoping to finally impose normalcy on her life. After moving in with her cousin Alecia, who’s engaged, Di begins working as a nanny for the troubled son of wealthy (and newly single) Augustus Catalano. While staying with the Catalanos, Di also meets their handsome gardener, Dave, and soon finds herself torn by her feelings for the two men. Meanwhile, Alecia’s relationship begins to break under the strain of the upcoming wedding and the quotidian pressures of work, family and finances. Struggling with similar emotional scars, the two cousins’ attempts to build new families and identities is grounded in loving, complicated relationships. The characters are endearing and the plot straightforward…making this an excellent summer read.”
Publishers Weekly



“Smartly written and nimbly plotted, the novel illustrates author Maggie Leffler’s grasp of family dynamics, along with a sharp sense of humor.”

[To read the rest of the article, click here] –Rege Behe, Pittsburgh Tribune Review


“Leffler explores family ties that may stretch but never quite break. The reader is privy to all the triumphs and disappointments of the two main characters’ engaging journey, and it’s never neat. In fact, it can be quite messy at times, but that’s what makes it seem genuine. Isn’t that how life is?”
–The Romantic Times Book Reviews


“The sequel to THE DIAGNOSIS OF LOVE (Ben’s sister Holly’s tale) is a terrific straightforward relationship drama. The two cousins have problems with commitments as each struggle in their own way with the men in their lives. With a nod to Neil Simon (and Herbert Ross), fans will enjoy the aptly titled THE GOODBYE COUSINS.”
–Harriet Klausner


“This is a wonderful story of family: crazy relatives you find you can’t live without, stable relatives that go crazy, half-truths, misconceptions, and misunderstandings, and the delicate balance of trusting that your family will always be there, when maybe they won’t. It’s a story of thinking you know what you want when you discover that you want something entirely different. It’s a story of hope. It’s a story of fear. But mainly, yeah, it’s a story of family. A 5-star love fest for this book and its storytelling author.”
Armchair Interviews


“Sarcasm that engages and intrigues is an art form that I wish all other authors could grasp and deliver as well as Ms. Leffler has. Don’t get me wrong, she’s wrapped the humor and comedy into a wonderful story about love, pain, faith, and a need for a place in this world. But the delivery of the lines is absolutely fabulous and transcends the normal, plethora of books that are out there, begging readers to weep for their characters…The characters will keep you laughing. The story will most likely pull at your heart-strings, and yes, you’ll shed a tear. But that, to me, is what good fiction and good faith is all about. It’s fine to have a journey to discovery – but if you can laugh while doing it, the conclusion is always a victory. Bravo, Ms. Leffler!
I’ll look forward to the next one.”


“A young doctor learns the true meaning of ‘physician, heal thyself’ in Leffler’s inspiring debut. Dr. Holly Campbell and her twin, Ben, attend a psychic’s TV show in the hopes of achieving some closure after their mother’s death. Her mother-via the medium-tells them someone’s moving to England and congratulates Ben on his engagement. After Ben confesses his recent engagement to Alecia, a TV journalist, Holly impulsively decides to leave her Pittsburgh residency and her new boyfriend, Dr. Matthew Hollembee, to be a ‘travel doc’ in Winchester, England. There she must deal with childhood abandonment issues stemming from her mother’s affair with a medical student in Grenada as well as sort out her feelings for Matthew and a cute English orderly she meets. Life becomes even more problematic after a frustrated Alecia arrives, needing help with other family challenges. Eventually, Holly discovers love can be a choice. Leffler, a practicing physician, infuses Holly’s spiritual search with liberal doses of humor, exquisite insight and rich details about the U.K. medical profession.”
Publishers Weekly Starred Review


“In THE DIAGNOSIS OF LOVE, we take a highly entertaining, hilarious journey alongside a young physician, Holly Campbell, as she faces her fear of life, love, and her mother’s past. Unlike the polished, superhuman doctors on TV, Holly is utterly recognizable: full of insecurities and uncertainty; sometimes tempted to seek answers in the occult rather than in science. Physician-writer Maggie Leffler writes with an insider’s authority that makes us fall in love with Holly and her zany friends, so that when Holly stumbles across life’s less explainable mysteries, we’re totally rooting for her to blossom. A vividly written story that pulls you in from the first page and doesn’t let go until the end.”