2013-04-18 / Columns

Off the Bookshelf

Fly Away Home
By Maralee Kalianoff

The latest work of one of my favorite authors, Jennifer Weiner, is entitled “Fly Away Home.” Weiner’s newest endeavor utilizes some of the strengths from her previous books: exceptional character development, a believable story line and the impetus to stop and reflect upon issues in your own life. There also remains a strong resemblance to character types introduced in earlier writings.

In “Fly Away Home,” Weiner gets closer to crossing that line between “suggestive” and “indecent” in her descriptions of romantic interludes, perhaps attempting to pull in readers looking for that in their chick lit selections, failing to realize she runs the risk of offending the large readership she already has. Aside from that little issue, this book was a good read. A little more serious than her earlier work, Weiner’s characteristic wit still manages to shine through.

Sylvie Serfer, at age 57, is happily married to the love of her life, Senator Richard Woodruff. At least she thinks she is, until she learns, along with the entireAmerican public while watching CNN, that her husband has been having an affair with a young female intern. Reeling from shock and disgrace, she leaves their home in New York to spend time at her childhood summer beach home in Connecticut. Taking time to heal her heart and ego, she slowly begins to learn more about herself and begins to examine her relationship with her two grown daughters.

Oldest daughter Diana, an Emergency Room doctor, is the “perfect” daughter, the daughter best suited for the public scrutiny of a senator’s child. Younger daughter Elizabeth “Lizzie,” on the other hand, is a newly rehabilitated drug addict prone to being “swept under the rug” when political functions arise.

Circumstances (fate?) bring the three women together at the beach house in Connecticut, allowing them the chance at a “do over,” righting wrongs from their past and establishing groundwork for a better relationship in the future.

A definite highlight of the book is found in the character of Sylvie’s mom, an eightysix year-old retired judge.An insightful woman who is not afraid to speak her mind, she was a refreshing addition to this story.

Although not my favorite Jennifer Weiner book, “Fly Away Home” was still a good story with a great message. “Fly Away Home” can be found in Linton at the Harry L. Petrie Library.

* * * * * *

If a book you are looking for is not available at the Harry L. Petrie Library, Librarian Carla Frison will be happy to obtain it from the North Dakota State Library for you. If you return the book to the State Library in Bismarck within the allotted time, there is no charge. The staff can return it by mail but will have to charge you for postage.

Hours for the library in Linton are Monday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., closed on Tuesdays, 2-5 p.m. on Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday and 2-5 p.m. on Friday. Friends of the Library meets every first Monday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Library. Everyone is welcome.

To contact Maralee, e-mail her: bonus73@hotmail.com and put Off the Bookshelf in the subject line.

Return to top