September 19, 2010

Fly Away Home

Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner
2010 Atria
Finished 8/8/10
Rating: 3.5/5 (Good)

Product Description

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.

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.

This was my very first eBook and I have to say I loved the entire experience. I was able to quickly download the book to my iPad while sitting on a plane in Virginia Beach. I'd been reading Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English and it simply wasn't holding my interest. I had other books in my carry-on, but didn't have time to get out of my seat since we were about to push back from the gate. I was so impressed by the ease and speed with which I was able to download the book and even more impressed with the iPad reader. I love the layout and the ease of turning "pages." Quickly sucked into the narrative from the opening pages, I completely forgot that I wasn't reading a "real" book. So much so that I caught myself reaching up toward the top right corner, ready to turn the page! And, I know I wasn't, but it sure felt like I was reading faster than usual. Maybe that had more to do with the nature of the book and not the manner in which it was read. Nonetheless, it was a great experience and I look forward to reading more eBooks.

Fly Away Home was just what I wanted for the trip home from our vacation. It was light and easy to get into, yet not so simplistic that I wound up focusing on the aircraft noises or felt all the bumps and drops during the all-too-typical encounters with turbulence. I've only read one other book by Weiner (back in my pre-book blogging days) and as I recall, it was also light and entertaining. And yet as I reflect on the novel, I have to admit that the characters were somewhat flat and unmemorable. Maybe I'm just itching for another great read like The Help, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle or World Without End. Fly Away Home fits the bill for a light summer beach read, but I'm ready for something more complex, peopled with rich, fully-drawn characters who will stay with me long after I've read the final lines.

Final thoughts: Worthwhile, but grab a copy at your local library.


  1. Did they let you read on your iPad during the flight? The last time I flew, they made someone turn off their Kindle and told them it had to stay off the whole flight. I wish the airlines would be consistent!

    Glad to see you enjoyed the book since it's in my TBR pile.

  2. Kathy - They only made me turn it off during take-off and landing, just like all the other "electronic devices with an on/off switch." How odd that you were on a flight that didn't allow Kindles on during any of the flight! That would make me so angry. It's no different than a laptop or iPod!

  3. I placed a reserve at the library -- 44 people are ahead of me, but there are 24 copies, so I shouldn't have to wait long. I like to alternate my "heavy" reading with lighter fare, so Fly Away Home should be just the thing! Thanks -- Annie

  4. I definitely read quicker on my Kindle. There is no book adjusting and the page turning is so much quicker.

  5. I can quickly see the immediate gratification of the book becoming addicting!! :) I think an iPad would be a real blast to use. My son and I share an iTouch and we're totally addicted to it!! This is one that I would definitely check out from my library. I have her last book but just haven't found time to read it yet!

  6. Annie Joy - Wow! 44 people? Guess she's pretty popular. Yep, this is perfect to balance out those heavier reads. Enjoy!

    Pam - So, my numbers should go up next year, right? ;)

    Staci - You'll have to let me know what you think of her last book (prior to this one) when you get a chance to read it. I'm on the fence as to whether I want to keep reading her or not.

  7. First, I'm glad you enjoyed this book. It's been a while since I've read Jennifer Weiner's stuff, and I'd like to get back into one of her books.

    Next, the iPad! Chuck wants one so bad he can't see straight. I'm glad it was a good reading experience. The only thing that's given me pause about the iPad is the backlit thing. I'm afraid it would hurt my eyes, whereas Nook isn't backlit, so it's not an issue.

  8. I have to join you in celebrating your first iPad e-book experience! Congratulations! :) I love, love, love my iPad and have had so much fun reading with it. I am currently reading my third e-book, but it will probably take me a long time to get through it because I usually only read on the iPad at night. I'm so happy to read that you love yours too!

    As for Weiner, I know I read a book or two written by her prior to blogging apparently, because I can't find any posts. I do remember thinking they were good, but nothing special.

    Oh yeah, I have a cover for my iPad and love the versatility it offers for reading and typing - let alone safe keeping. Happy reading, Les!

  9. I just finished this book about ten minutes ago, Les, and found it good enough to keep me reading steadily since yesterday afternoon. I'll be returning it to the library tomorrow where the online reservation list for the Minuteman Library Network (towns in Greater Boston) shows that there are 602 holds on the first copy returned of 184 copies.

  10. Andi - I felt the same as Chuck! I bought Rod one for his birthday and was so envious, I splurged and bought one for myself with our American Express annual cash rebate. I have absolutely no regrets. Love it! And the back-lighting is not a problem at all. I don't feel any eye strain after reading for a few hours. The only problem is reading outside in bright sunlight. That's pretty rare, though, and I just pick up an old-fashioned printed book. :)

    Joy - Aren't iPads awesome?!?! Very fun to read on. And I've read on both the iPad and Nook. I have a nice cover for my Ipad, too. It has an easel stand, which is handy if I'm using it for a recipe while cooking.

    Marcia - 602 holds?? Unbelievable! She's really popular, isn't she? I'll pop over to read your review later this weekend. Need to start writing a few more for the books I recently finished.


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