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.
Lizzie, the Woodruffs’ younger daughter, is at twenty-four a recovering addict, whose mantra HALT (Hungry? Angry? Lonely? Tired?) helps her keep her life under control. Still, trouble always seems to find her. Her older sister, Diana, an emergency room physician, has everything Lizzie failed to achieve- a husband, a young son, the perfect home- and yet she’s trapped in a loveless marriage. With temptation waiting in one of the ER’s exam rooms, she finds herself craving more.
After Richard’s extramarital affair makes headlines, the three women are drawn into the painful glare of the national spotlight. Once the press conference is over, each is forced to reconsider her life, who she is and who she is meant to be.
Written with an irresistible blend of heartbreak and hilarity, Fly Away Home is an unforgettable story of a mother and two daughters who after a lifetime of distance finally learn to find refuge in one another.
Fans of Jennifer Weiner will love her latest novel, Fly Away Home. I don’t know how she continues to do it, time and time again, but Jennifer Weiner can keep you enthralled in a story and engaged in the characters on every single page. She continues to be one of my favorites that I’ve also been fortunate enough to meet on two book tours: last summer’s Best Friends Forever tour as well as this year’s Fly Away Home tour.
As a Washington, D.C. area local, it seems all too familiar. The tale of the wandering politician. The one who thinks the rules don’t apply to him, who indulges in temptation and his selfish desires, and who ultimately ends up making a public statement of apology with his disgraced wife standing by his side. Yet it’s rare that we get an inside glimpse at the wife and family’s views. The ones who were betrayed and shamed in public. The ones who have to figure out what to do with their lives and how to protect each other from public opinion and interest.
Jennifer Weiner does just this in her newest novel. Exploring “the family side” of the typical political scandal, we follow Sylvie (the scorned wife), Diana (the over-achieving and ‘perfect’ oldest), and Lizzie (the younger, more rebellious child.) Told from all three points of views (which is one of the things I love most about Weiner’s novels- you get more than one side of the story!), other trials rise in every character’s life. From work to parenting to relationships to family, there is so much going on in Fly Away Home, I never lost interest! (Though to be fair, I’ve never lost interest in a Weiner novel.)
Written with the author’s usual humor and wit, you’ll laugh out loud with these women. You’ll root for them as individuals and as a family as they try to piece back together their lives after their world(s) are turned upside down. Each one has her own desires, her own passions, and her own relationships to reconcile. And I think this book definitely leaves some doors open for a sequel.
I can say I’m happy with the ending, however I do find myself wondering what happens next for Diana and Lizzie! Particularly Diana. Both of their stories and lives were so interesting and, a couple of times, unpredictable. (Maybe we will find out in an upcoming sequel…?) Either way, Fly Away Home, is another fantastic Jennifer Weiner novel that will leave you considering your family and appreciating them all the more. After all, isn’t family what it’s all about?
Congrats to Jen on signing a four year-four book deal with her publisher! I’m looking forward to meeting new characters and seeing you on tour again! Thanks for supporting our blog after your stop in the D.C.-area. Enjoy the rest of those cupcakes this summer! 😉
Seven Year Switch by Claire Cook