Wednesday, March 2, 2011

CBR III Book 7: Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner

Sylvie Woodruff is a politician's wife who has devoted her life to taking care of her husband, Richard. She's written his speeches, set his schedule, groomed him, and raised his two daughters. Her seemingly perfect life is rocked when it's revealed that Richard had an affair with a young staffer and procured a job for her. Sylvie is devastated by this betrayal and seeks refuge in her family's beachhouse in Connecticut. She needs time away from Richard to figure out what's next - not only for their marriage, but for herself, because without him, she doesn't even know who she is anymore.

Meanwhile, Sylvie's two grown-up daughters find themselves struggling with problems of their own. Diana, the eldest, is a doctor living in Philadelphia with her husband Gary and son Milo. Diana has worked hard to build a solid, perfect-looking life of her own, but she's found herself tempted to stray from her marriage - and risks losing everything in the process. And Lizzie, the younger daughter, is a recovering drug addict who is trying to prove that she's not the black sheep of the family. Both of the girls find themselves, like their mother, trying to suss out who they are, while also trying to figure out what it means to be a family when things are at their worst.

I'm a fan of Jennifer Weiner's work - I've read everything she's ever published. I didn't think this one was up to her standard, and I couldn't quite figure out what about it I didn't like, but I think it boils down to trying to pack too much into one book. Any one of the three major storylines could have its own book; by putting them all into one novel, they ended up a little compressed and rushed in order to reach the same ending point together. However, I'd still recommend the book - it's a nice, easy read, perfect for curling up on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa.

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