Fly Away Home

I’ve been mostly drawn to horror books lately. Maybe its the weather and the season. But this is the second Jennifer Weiner book I’ve read in the last two months, which must mean something. I think there’s something very personal and inviting in her novels, and Fly Away Home is no exception.

In this novel, the Woodruff family’s three women take turns telling their stories. The matriarch, Sylvie, has been the perfect politician’s wife for the past couple of decades. Her oldest daughter, Diana, has worked her whole life to be the perfect daughter and now is a successful doctor who is married with a son. Lizzie, the youngest, who has not fared as well and comes up short in the perfection department, has recently been released from rehab. With all the perfection in the family working hard for Senator Richard Woodruff, there’s not a lot of time for real emotion and love to be expressed.

It isn’t until Richard’s extramarital affair makes the news, that the perfect family has to struggle with the damage that perfection has caused. Finally free from the restrictions of her life, Sylvie hides at her Connecticut beach house and rediscovers parts of her that have been hidden behind the perfect facade. Diana, who is also having an extramarital affair, realizes that the appearance of a perfect marriage is far from her reality. She played it safe and is now seeking the passion that she missed out on. Lizzie is struggling with her black-sheet stigma and is trying to create a life for herself where she doesn’t have to hide behind her drugs. All three are seeking their true selves and once they start they can begin mending the family bonds that haven’t existed and all have missed.

Again, Weiner’s ability to capture her characters emotions and translate them to paper enchants me. There’s a lot of psychological messes that the characters struggle through so they can begin their lives again. This was an easy book to like and to read. I feel like I really know the characters when I finished. To me, thats a great way to end a book.

Read October 2014.


Then Came You

Jennifer Weiner’s Then Came You intertwines several women’s story’s of motherhood and fertility. Jules is a young Princeton student coming to terms with her sexuality and selling her eggs for a lot of money since she’s highly educated and beautiful. Annie is a stay at home mom of 2 young boys with a jealous husband. India is a little too old to be a trophy wife, but she lies about her age and just about everything else to tempt Marcus Croft, a very wealthy divorcee with older children. Bettina Croft, who never recovered from her mother leaving her father for her new guru, doesn’t trust the beautiful and secretive India.

Weiner has all the woman using their femaleness to get a leg up. From Annie who just wants a better life for family against her husbands wishes to Jules who will sell her eggs to have a better start to her new life. But everything comes with a cost that none of the woman anticipated.

I love how Weiner takes each woman’s strength and weakness and creates a group of women that can lean on each other. This is a quick, enjoyable read that I would recommend to anyone who wants more insight into how woman think of their bodies as a commodity and how the world uses them. In this story the women end up stronger for it, no one is perfect, but together they create a family, very nontraditional, but full of love.

Read September 2014