Book Review: Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner

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 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 senator husband.
Lizzie, the Woodruff's youngest daughter, is a recovering addict, whose mantra HALT (Hungry? Angry? Lonely? Tired?) helps her keep her life under control. Still, at twenty-four, 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. 
When Richard's extramarital affair makes the headlines, the three women are drawn into the painful glare of the national spotlight. Once the press conference is over, each is forced to consider their lives, who they are and who they are meant to be.
I thought this book looked great when it arrived but I have to say that I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. I have taken my time reading it, not because I was bored or uninterested but instead because I didn't want it to end.
Sylvie Serfer is the perfect senator's wife to her husband Richard. She makes sure that she looks pristine, says the right things and never puts a foot wrong. Which is why it comes as such a shock when she learns that Richard has been having an affair. It's hard enough for any woman in that situation but Sylvie has to endure her private life being played out on national TV for everyone and anyone to pass comment on.
Sylvie decides to get away from it all and heads to the family's house in Connecticut. Here she doesn't have to worry about putting on a few pounds or dying her hair but how long can she shut the real world away for?
Out in the real world are Sylvie and Richard's daughters, Diana and Lizzie who couldn't be more different from each other. Diana is an ER doctor, juggling a stressful career with a husband she no longer loves and a young son that she dotes upon. When one of the interns catches her eye, she can't believe hoe reckless she can be, is her marriage really that bad that she would risk losing it all?
Lizzie is the baby of the family at twenty four, she is a recovering addict who is trying to prove herself to everyone, especially her own family. Lizzie has had her addiction under control for a while but will she survive the latest family drama?
Sylvie is trying to protect her daughters from the humiliation that Richard has caused. But when they come to stay with her in Connecticut, she realises that she may have spent too much time being the perfect wife and not enough time understanding what her daughters were going through. Could this be her second chance to be the mother she always intended to be and where does Richard fit into this new family?
I'm so excited that Jennifer Weiner has written seven other books as I loved her writing style. I am very close to my older sister and I think that the author completely captured the special bond that sisters and mothers and daughters have. The book moved at a really good pace and each chapter focuses on either Sylvie, Diana or Lizzie so we get a good understanding of all of them and their family dynamic.
Fly Away Home was such an enjoyable read, I highly recommend it and hope to bring you reviews of Jennifer Weiner's other books in the future.

Many thanks to Simon and Schuster for sending me a copy of the book to review, it is out now !


Dizzy C said...

I have not read any Jennifer Weiner books yet.

Great review, sounds good.


Dot said...

Carol- It was my first and I shall definitely be checking out her others!

One More Page said...

I like the sound of this one and like you and Carol, haven't read any Jennifer Weiner before. Another author to add to my list :)

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