Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Review #73: Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner

Title: Fly Away Home
Author: Jennifer Weiner
Publisher: Atria (Simon and Schuster)
Genre: Women's Fiction
Format: ARC from Publisher
ISBN: 978-0-7432-9427-0
Price/Pages: $26.99/app.401
Release Date: July 11

My Description:

Sylvie Serfer is the perfect wife to her politician husband, Richard. Though when they met in law school she was a force to be reckoned with; big hair, sturdy body and a loud mouth. These days she has molded herself into a perfect other half; slim, blonde, professionally dressed and always polite. She was happy and comfortable being in Richard's shadow, his right hand at times, making sure he eats his breakfast and gets to his appointments on time.

But all her hard work and devotion towards Richard is shattered when the news story breaks that he is the newest politician to be caught cheating with a younger woman.

Sylvie retreats to her family home in Connecticut, away from the media frenzy and away from Richard and his "I'm sorries".

Sylvie is not alone in this scandal. Lizzie and Diana are the daughters who have emotional stories of their own. Lizzie, the younger daughter, is a recovering addict living with her older sister Diana trying to put the pieces back together of her own life. Diana is an ER physician and fierce, strong willed and very much in control of her life. Or so she thinks. She has a husband who loves her and that she tolerates and a son whom she adores.
She also has a lover who she can't get enough of.

The news of their father's scandal forces them all to take a look at their past as a family
and who they are now. Can they recover? Will trust be restored?
Will they continue on as a family unit?

My Review:

This, surprisingly, was my first Jennifer Weiner novel. I'm seeing reviews for it every where and it is being described as a perfect summer read. I would agree. Politicians cheating is certainly straight out of our headlines these days and it definitely adds the gossip factor in and keeps you reading. Surprisingly the idea of this book came over ten years ago according to the Acknowledgements from the author, before the most recent scandals in the news.

I really enjoyed the stories of Diana and Lizzie more so than Sylvie. Sylvie almost felt like the back story to me. It starts off really powerful with the realization of the affair and then Sylvie escapes. Left to weather the storm in their daily lives are the daughters. Diana, though strong on the outside, was strugglilng with an imperfect and unhappy marriage. Lizzie, though filled with mistakes from her past, was trying to move on.

I liked how honest and straight forward these characters were.
Richard and Sylvie were not the perfect parents. They were busy building his career. So this recent turn of events was just another loss for them when it came to their parents.
This seemed very true to life. How busy are we as parents to do so much and plug away?
Are we forgetting to nurture and raise our children?

Weiner has a very easy to read writing style. Beach readers out there could lose themselves in this story. It is a bit more involved and I would not call it a light chick lit/beach read but it is certainly compulsively readable.

Rating: 5 stars/ 6 stars
I would recommend this one for a summer read. It's quick and easy to get into. Each chapter is told from either Sylvie, Lizzie or Diana. It comes together quite nicely in the end and leaves you with a good feeling. I can see why Jennifer Weiner is a popular author. She definitely taps into the heart of real people making her characters very relatable (even if you don't have a cheating political husband).

Book Club Note:
This book could instigate some discussion on the current state of some of our politicians personal lives. Marriage, cheating, trust. For all of this, it may interest book clubs.

Author Website:

Thank you to Wendy at Simon and Schuster for sending me this ARC to read.
It is out in stores July 11!

Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!

red headed book child


Julie@My5monkeys said...

must add this to the pile..I've read her other books.

Rachel said...

Thanks for the review! I really like Weiner, and haven't read her in a while. I have a promo for Little Earthquakes I never got to. Thanks for reminding me about her!

Rachel said...

Thanks for the review! I really like Weiner, and haven't read her in a while. I have a promo for Little Earthquakes I never got to. Thanks for reminding me about her!

Jenny said...

I've never read a Jennifer Weiner book either! This book does sound good, though, and the political scandal would probably be more interesting to read now because of fairly recent events (even though she initially thought of this years ago).

Tales of Whimsy said...

Awesome review!

PS You made me giggle with your comment about building a house of books :)
Thanks for passing by! I've missed you ;)

Lisa said...

I've read two of her books--one I liked, one I really didn't. But can I just say how tired I am of covers that look like this? It just screams "I'm a book of a certain type."

Stacy at The Novel Life said...

i've never read any of her books, not quite sure why...but this one sounds really good...thanks for the great review!

Vanessa Book ♥ Soulmates said...

Just hopping by to say Hi via the Blog Hop!

Hope you have a great weekend :)
Book ♥ Soulmates

bookmagic said...

I think Weiner is very funny but the premise of her books never appeal to me. Cheating husbands is so cliche. I keep waiting for the right one to appeal to me. This one is not it