Visible Empire by Hannah Pittard Book REview

Rating: 3 out of 5.

About: This is a story loosely based on a plane crash in Paris in 1962. The story follows the loved ones of the victims in the aftermath.

Plot: The story got really good in the second half. The first half seemed to drag. I also didn’t understand how the story even resembled being related to the plane accident. It was referenced once at the beginning of the book and that’s it. There were also two characters in the book who I don’t understand their purpose in the book at all. They were little more than page fillers in my opinion.

Characters: I couldn’t relate to or connect with many of the characters in the story. The only two I found I connected with were Piedmont and Lily. They were both very intelligent and not given enough credit for their character at all.

Suggestions: If a book is to be written centered around an airplane crash, then it should be referenced more than once in the book.

Recommend: I would recommend it. Especially for those who love historical events.


We’re sick of this shit,” said Michael. “News people, the mayor and his wife, television shows, the goddamn president of the United States – they’re all going on and on about this airplane that went down in Paris, France, on Plant Earth. They jabber on and on about the movers and the shakers, about all the important folks we lost that day. The Reverend himself comes on the radio and tells us that we better behave, that we should hang our heads in sadness at our loss. You know what, though? It isn’t our loss. You understand? It isn’t our loss at all. It’s their loss. We have losses. Every day. Every single day we suffer losses. But no one talks about those. We get no letters of sympathy. We get nothing. Just ignored.

It was twenty doctors, nine architects, thirteen lawyers, and too many mothers and fathers to count. In short, it felt like everyone because to the mayor’s wife, it was everyone, it was everyone she cared about, and they were all gone in a single, heartbreaking, unbelievable whop.

Whenever Michael and Jeremy talked about the meetings they attended, Piedmont would wonder about his own responsibility with regard to the Negro Cause. He wondered if it was okay to sit back, keep his head down, and wait for whatever improvements those around him might acquire on his behalf. He wondered if he even believed a better future was possible.

Or maybe both stories were true, in the same way a person could be telling one story that he wanted heard and another story he didn’t mean to be heard. Both were true – the audible one and the quiet one. just sometimes when you listened, you could hear them both and sometimes you couldn’t.

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