Aug 20

Fly Away Home: A Novel

Posted by Soliloquy in Books on CD

Sometimes all you can do is fly away home . . . When Sylvie Serfer met Richard Woodruff in law school, she had wild curls, wide hips, and lots of opinions. Decades later, Sylvie has remade herself as the ideal politician’s wife—her hair dyed and straightened, her hippie-chick wardrobe replaced by tailored knit suits. At fifty-seven, she ruefully acknowledges that her job is staying twenty pounds thinner than she was in her twenties and tending to her husband, the senator.

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5 Responses

  • Tiffany says:

    Review by Tiffany for Fly Away Home: A Novel
    Fly away home is the beautifully written story of Sylvie, a politicians wife, and her two daughters Diana and Lizzie. In the wake and aftermath of scandal these three women are forced to face the truth about themselves including who they are, who they want to be and what they want out of life. The women deal with past issues as well as present. Weiner does a wonderful job of taking the serious issues of commitment, self-esteem, identity and choices and mixing them with comical moments.

    Meet the women of Fly Away Home:

    Sylvie: Wife of Senator Richard Woodruff. Sylvie has spent her life in her husbands service, helping him, guiding him and focusing on him. After his affair is brought into the open, Sylvie must re-evaluate who she is and who she wants to be. She must make the biggest decision of all. Will she be able to trust and forgive?

    Diana: The eldest daughter of Sylvie and Richard Woodruff. After watching her parents marriage, Diana has a very clear path for her life and how she wants it to be. While everything makes sense on paper, Diana forgets about the heart and love. When she is reminded her world is turned upside down and she must choose to love or not to love? Will she be happy?

    Lizzie: (Elizabeth) The youngest daughter of the Woodruff’s and the family screw-up. Returning from rehab, Lizzie is determined to be better, to make something of herself, and to stay clean. It seems the world doesn’t want to make this easier for her, and her family isn’t in the best state to help. Will she be able to overcome of one the hardest parts of her life? Will she learn from the rehab and will she survive the shock and surprises she will encounter along the way?

    The novel is divided into three sections. Each section skillfully sets up the next and smoothly transitions into it. Each section is divided into chapters, entitled by the woman who narrates the chapter. The first section focuses on past memories as well as current happenings. The second section dives deeper into the issues of the women, each leading to the point of no return. The third and final section brings the three women together. They face the past, present and future together and discover where home truly is.

    Jennifer Weiner did a wonderful job with this novel. Fly away home quickly moved its way up the list of my favorite novels by Weiner. She encompasses so many relationships and focuses on them throughout the book. It is skillfully written and will make you laugh as well as feel the emotions of each character. You will find yourself relating to each character in your own way and rooting for them to find comfort and happiness. Fly Away Home is a heartbreaking, insightful novel, full of humor and interpersonal relationships. It will easily become a novel you will not want to put down, a novel that will carry you through many emotions, a novel you simply wont want to end.

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  • Zee says:

    Review by Zee for Fly Away Home: A Novel
    Maybe I was expecting too much? I have enjoyed Jennifer Weiner’s works in the past. I really wanted to like this book, but I just finished and found myself saying… “blah.”

    Nothing happens. And at the same time, everything seems sadly predictable. Reading this is like eating cotton candy — pretty promises but empty.

    Maybe the point is that these scandals are commonplace now and the story is “no story.” Because really, now that I’m done, I feel so let down and like I wasted time.

    Sylvie continues to go through the motions the entire book. No wonder her husband sought somebody else. She’s on autopilot and things don’t seem to change. First she takes a swing at her philandering spouse. Then she says she’ll be on t.v. She didn’t even have a conversation (argument, conflict, upset) about the whole “stand by your man” bit — in fact her man didn’t even ask her to stand by him. Next she’s hiding (in Connecticut?? ) and grocery shopping as therapy? She learns to cook overnight, a sensation on her first try. And that’s the extent of her growth?

    Some of this is rehashed headlines with bits and pieces of Grey’s Anatomy, The Good Wife, and an after school special on what not to do when your kid is addicted (I can’t believe her father asked her to make him a drink). Every daughter plot point was telegraphed in advance. I knew exactly what was going to happen (and it did). But I won’t say what — no spoilers (well, not much) on my watch.

    So, yeah. This could be a beach read. Just don’t get your hopes up. I’m still searching for the book of the summer.

  • Anna says:

    Review by Anna for Fly Away Home: A Novel
    I’m a big fan of Jennifer Weiner, and thoroughly enjoyed her past work. But this novel just didn’t do it for me. I’ve read and reread her past books, so maybe this bothered me more than it would other people. But some of the scenes/lines in this book are too reminiscent of past books. For example, the scene in which Diana meets her husband is quite similar to the way Kelly (in Little Earthquakes) meets hers. Both women go out to get drunk immediately after being dumped, and then meet a sweet man in that bar who later becomes her future husband. Before they have sex, Jeff asks Lizzie “Is it safe?”, the same exact line that Sam says to Lia (also in Little Earthquakes). There are about a thousand more ways a man could ask a woman if she’s using some kind of birth control, no? I don’t know, these examples just stood out and irked me.

    The characters weren’t easy to care about, either. For instance, I wanted to like the character of Lizzie, but she was too nonchalant about Jeff and about her pregnancy. I wanted to like Diana, but there were few and far between moments in the book where I could tell that she actually cared about her son. It seems like we were just told towards the end how much she loves him, but throughout the book the majority of her scenes she is not around him nor thinking of him. Maybe if there were more past scenes showing the characters’ history, they would’ve been better developed and more likeable. And I won’t even go in to Sylvie, who has a change of heart toward the end that seemingly came out of nowhere.

    Finally, the book had its funny moments, but was not nearly as funny as her past efforts. Despite the criticisms above, I will continue to read Jennifer Weiner, books like In Her Shoes and Little Earthquakes were funny, fun, and hard to put down.

  • Book Bunny says:

    Review by Book Bunny for Fly Away Home: A Novel
    I have read every one of Jennifer Weiner’s novels and short stories, and have loved almost all of them. But her latest novel is disappointingly ordinary. It could have been written by any mildly successful chick lit author. None of the characters make you feel much for them, and I found myself constantly wondering when anything interesting was going to happen. I read the book lying in bed with my Kindle, and at times actually caught myself getting distracted by the Law and Order re-runs my husband was watching. A tough one to love even for Weiner’s fans.

  • LisaEC says:

    Review by LisaEC for Fly Away Home: A Novel
    I hate to do this (give this book such a low rating) but I truly found it close to dreadful. I have read other Jennifer Weiner books and liked them all, but I found ‘Fly Away Home’ to be quite slow and boring. As others stated in their reviews, I too kept waiting for something to happen, for there to be something funny, or for me to actually care about the characters – none of which ever happened (for me). I found it hard to beleive that Sylvie didn’t talk to her husband for months and then suddenly started talking to him every day, that Diana would actually marry a man who by every discription in the book was totally wrong for her, and that Lizzie did a full 180 with no slip-ups. I found myself wishing that there was some happiness and at least one reason to root for the main characters.

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