Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner

Several years ago I tried to read In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner. Perhaps being the mother of a single, out-on-her-own daughter colored my reaction, but I just couldn't bring myself to read past the opening sequence of events. So, I stayed away from Jennifer Weiner until I read the description of Fly Away Home. Granted, the pulled from the headlines plotline of the disgraced politician may have made this another pass; however, I put it on my library reserve list and did find the story good enough to keep me reading on a Saturday afternoon despite the less than enthusiastic editorial review from Publishers Weekly.

From Publishers Weekly (via
Weiner weaves a forgettable family drama with three weakly connected storylines: mother Sylvie Woodruff long ago sacrificed herself to become the perfect politician's wife, but the revelation of her husband's infidelity sends her off to reconnect with her old self. Her daughters aren't faring any better: recovering addict Lizzie is pursuing an interest in photography, but a childhood incident continues to trouble her; and dutiful older daughter Diana, an ER doctor, is escaping her blandly offensive husband via her own affair. The three women's crises function in parallel, and Weiner is unable to keep the narrative tension going when she hops from one character to another, largely because their issues are so tidily resolved and the women are never in real emotional danger--Sylvie's husband's affair is a "one-day story," Lizzie's narcotic slip is to take a couple of Advil PM (and an apology resolves the unresolved past), and the breakdown of Diana's marriage is dispatched as easily as Diana making a resolution to change her life. The lack of conflict and strong characters, and the heavy dose of brand names and ripped-from-the-headlines references, make this disappointingly disposable.

When all was said and read, it was wrapped a little too nicely. I'm much more intrigued with watching the tensions in The Good Wife. How will Alicia Florrick handle things this year?

Rating: 3/5 (Fiction Scale)
Dedication: For Joanna Pulcini and Greer Hendricks
First Line: Breakfast in five-star hotels was always the same.

Book Extras
Visit the author's website here.
Visit the publisher's page here.

Les at Lesley's Book Nook has written a review of Fly Away Home which pretty much echoes my experience. Please click here to read her review. While you're there, be sure to check out Les's new wheels!

1 comment:

Les said...

Yep, we pretty much agree on this one, don't we? Thanks for the shout-out. Glad you like my new wheels. Think snow!! :)