Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner

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Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner

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Category: Women's Fiction
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Jennifer Weiner has a habit of returning to the same themes and similar characters, but this book is thought-provoking and well-written. Recommended.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 416 Date: June 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1847390257

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Sylvie Serfer married Richard Woodruff and from that day on made herself the perfect politician's wife. The senator came first in everything, even before their children. That's not to say that the girls were neglected – it's just that they never came first. The senator's image, his convenience, his schedule and his clothing were of paramount importance to Sylvie. There's a problem though – the senator has been having an affair and as with all such matrimonial earthquakes in political circles it broke on the national news rather than in the privacy of the matrimonial home. What's Sylvie to do?

It's many years since I read In Her Shoes. I enjoyed it and judged it better than chick lit and lamented the fact that the book cover rather dumbed down the content. I was also slightly concerned that as I read I was put in mind of an earlier book by Jennifer Weiner and I hoped that she would do something different with her next book. Unfortunately I'm going to say much the same thing again.

Sylvie Serfer has two daughters. Diana is a doctor and useful to her father as he can refer to her as being on the front line of emergency care when he makes speeches. Her younger daughter is, er, less useful. Lizzie has a history of addiction and a problem avoiding trouble. It was also difficult to avoid the memories of In Her Shoes where the elder daughter is a lawyer and her sister a n'er-do-well. I spent a while feeling slightly cross.

The senator has upset his wife and daughters but there's an irony in that Diana is trapped in a loveless marriage and falls prey to temptation in the form of one of her students. She's soon the victim of addiction in much the same way as her sister and putting her marriage and child at risk in the same way as her father. Meanwhile, Lizzie, who has never has friends or a boyfriend finds herself drawn to someone with consequences she could never have imagined.

I soon forgot that I should be annoyed and settled down to enjoy this book. Jennifer Weiner knows families and particularly the dynamics of Jewish families. She also has the confidence not to tie up all the loose ends and give everyone a happy-ever-after. The writing is exemplary and if you're looking for a thought-provoking read with a good story then I think you'll enjoy Fly Away Home.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If this book appeals then you might like to try Ophelia in Pieces by Clare Jacob.

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Buy Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner at


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