Fly Away Home – Review

Currently on Loan from the Library:

Fly Away Home by: Jennifer Weiner

Whisper to the Blood by: Dana Stabenow

The Historian by: Elizabeth Kostova 

Other Books I’m Reading:

 Anathem: by Neal Stephenson. 

Fly Away Home by: Jennifer Weiner is probably never going to be a favorite of mine.  Still, as always with Jennifer’s work, I absolutely respect the effort.  Her pacing is good.  Her characters multi faceted, and surprising.  She’s got a clear and interesting voice as a writer.  Fly Away Home is a well constructed novel.

That said, I didn’t find Sylvie Woodruff scorned wife of Senator Richard Woodruff all that sympathetic.  Which may, in a way, be the point of the book.  Sylvie doesn’t really seem to find herself all that sympathetic.

Our story starts with Senator Woodruff’s wife headed home down the Jersey Turnpike in the back of the standard black Town Car when she gets  a call from her best friend  Ceil.  Sylvie isn’t near a television, so it falls to Ceil to break the news of Richard’s affair.  Sylvie is understandably upset and pulls over at a rest stop to see the news on a television.  Possibly, the experience of hearing herself spoken of so harshly in the rest stop is almost as bad a shock as hearing about her husband’s affair.  Either way, Sylvie stays in town for the mandatory apologetic press conference, and then beats a hasty retreat to regroup.

Meanwhile, the Woodruff daughters Diana and Lizzie are finding out about the affair as well.  Diana, wife, mother, ER doctor, and woman cheating on her husband with a younger man, blames her father entirely.  Which I guess is no surprise.  Rather refreshingly, she blames herself for ruining her own marriage too.  Lizzie, younger, just out of drug rehab, and spending the summer babysitting for her sister’s son, adores her father, and doesn’t really seem to come down on a side for most of the book.

In fact the interplay between the sisters is some of the best material in the book.  Their relationships with each other, and with their parents is insightful and well written.  No surprise.  Weiner has always had a talent for writing about the difficult and confusing world of the sisterly relationship.

After finding out about the affair, Sylvie does the only thing she really can.  She leaves to rebuild herself, and eventually the relationships she has let slip with her daughters.

Watch for the scene where Sylvie yells at the woman in the grocery store.  It put me in mind of something Elizabeth Edwards said in an interview about the death of her son.  Actually not long before Elizabeth’s husband was caught cheating.

Enjoyability:  Four stars.  


Where to read this book: This is a good beach book.  


Further reading: I’m having another run at The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova.  Last time I was really distracted.  


Posted on June 12, 2013, in Fiction, Reading, review and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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