Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Review: "Fly Away Home" by Jennifer Weiner

I was so excited when the library called me to let me know that my reserved copy of Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner was in, the day before I was going to leave to go on a short vacation with my family. I love buying books, and do so when I can, but this book blogger's on a budget! The library is the next best place to read all of the books that I've been lusting after, despite the extra time it can sometimes take to get my hands on a copy.

I was a little anxious about reading this one, despite the great reviews that it has been getting from my fellow bloggers. I adored Good in Bed, Certain Girls, and In Her Shoes, but I was disappointed by her last book, Best Friends Forever. I didn't want to be disappointed again, and I'm glad that I wasn't!

Fly Away Home is the story of the Woodruff family. Richard, the father, is a politician with aspirations to become the president. Sylvie is Richard's wife. She's molded herself into the perfect politician's wife- thinnish and average, so as not to attract the attention of nasty reporters and bloggers. Diana is the high-achieving oldest daughter. She's married with a little boy, Milo, and is a doctor who works in a local emergency room. Lizzie, the youngest, is pretty and soft and a former drug addict, now in recovery.

Everything falls apart for the Woodruff's when it's revealed on the news that Richard has had an affair with a young intern (hmmm...where have we heard this story before?). Suddenly nobody is safe from doubt and turmoil- Richard is repentant and regretful, Sylvie wonders why she's molded herself into someone that she's not for so long, Diana is taking her own dangerous path, and Lizzie is struggling to keep it all together. They must all decide who they really are, and where they want life to take them.

Fly Away Home was a highly enjoyable book, despite the fact that the plot felt like it had been done before (perhaps because of the prevelance of stories like this on the news). I enjoyed the fact that the story was told from the points of view of the three Woodruff women, all three of them with distinct voices. I couldn't help but love watching Sylvie come into her own as she escapes to the family's beach house to heal and to figure out what to do next. Diana was all sharp edges, but even she gets to a point where she softens. Lizzie was my favourite character of all. She was so afriad of screwing up again, yet her hope for the future and for better things was contagious and she made it incredibly easy for me to root for her.

All in all this was an enjoyable, heartwarming read, as we follow these three women struggling to put the piece of the Woodruff family back together. I highly recommend this one to anyone who has enjoyed Weiner's previous books, as well as to those looking for an intelligent contemporary fiction read.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Recommended to: Jennifer Weiner fans, fiction lovers
Challenges: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge, 2010 Support Your Local Library Challenge


  1. Nice review. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I did, too.

  2. Like you, I was disappointed in Best Friends Forever -- in fact, I barely remember the plot now! I really enjoyed Fly Away Home, though. Sylvie was my favorite character!

  3. Yay! I totally agree... Best Friends Forever is my least favorite her books! I was so disappointed. I loved Fly Away Home though. I also wrote a review on it. If anyone ask I always say that they should not start with BFF. ( :

  4. I enjoyed this one as well. Great review!