Year of the Bookwormz: 2011

52 weeks. 2 friends. 1 challenge.

Book #24: Fabookulous July 20, 2010

Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner

Book description:

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! 😉

5/5 stars.

Happy Reading,
Fabookulous

Up next for Fabookulous:

Seven Year Switch by Claire Cook


 

Cupcakes, friends, and Weiner! Oh My! July 15, 2010

Rewind! As you know if you follow this blog, Jennifer Weiner (pronounced WHY-ner) is one of our most favorite authors. She’s adorable, hilarious and approachable. I owe my love for Weiner to one of my best friends, Heather, who lives out-of-town. Heather got me hooked on Jennifer Weiner’s writing a few years ago. My gal pals, Fabookulous included, were hooked too!  We had the chance to meet Weiner last summer when she toured in our area where I also sparked a new friendship with another one of my besties, Planet Books! For Heather’s birthday last year, I gifted her with a copy of Best Friends Forever (how apropos?!) signed with a special birthday message from Weiner! We vowed that next time Weiner came to our area, Heather would be in tow. As luck would have it, Heather was planning a summer visit to stay with my husband and I this July so we could celebrate her early birthday together! We booked this on the calendar about six months ago. One fine day, Fabookulous sends me the serendipitous news that Weiner’s summer book tour stop in our town fell during Heather’s visit to us!

The stars aligned and we had such an amazing evening tonight, all together!  Oh and unless you live under a rock, you know that cupcakes are the latest craze all over the place, especially on the east coast. So as a perk for going to Weiner’s author event, she’s had each city’s best cupcakery cater cupcakes for the entire audience! After a quick dinner, we settled in to an evening of cupcakes (courtesy of Georgetown Cupcake), best friends AND Jennifer Weiner!!! What more could a girl ask for? Well, one of my other favorite author friends, Sarah Pekkanen, jet-lagged and all from her whirlwind European tour came by at the end. I was so glad to introduce her to my friends who enjoyed her novel, The Opposite of Me, as well! What a two-fer!

As usual, Weiner was dynamic, witty, and personable. She even gave Heather a hug and thanked her for coming from such a far distance. It was a truly magical evening getting to share so many wonderful things with so many wonderful people. When it was my turn to have my books signed, I asked Weiner how she ‘unplugs’ from all the distractions of Facebook, Twitter, email, blogging, writing…oh and being a wife and mother! She said that reading is her escape and an outlet for unwinding. I really enjoyed hearing that and could relate 100%!

Jennifer, we’re some of your biggest fans and we are so thankful that authors like you take time to connect with your fans the way you do. If you ever get the opportunity to attend one of Weiner or Pekkanen’s events, I highly recommend it! Thanks again to my wonderful friends who made the night the even yummier icing on the already delicious cupcake! I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, I have THE most wonderful friends a girl could ever ask for. Ladies, I’ll be your den mother any day of the week! *mwah*

Off to tend to my out-0f-town guests. We’re looking forward to our relaxing pool day tomorrow and Heather’s (early) birthday party Saturday! Back to your regularly scheduled programming. This bookworm is ZONKED. Over and out!

xo♥xo,

LibraryLove