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Fly Away Home: A Novel [Paperback]

Jennifer Weiner
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 3 2011
Sometimes all you can do is fly away home . . .

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 knit 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 husband, the senator.

Lizzie, the Woodruffs’ younger daughter, is at twenty-four a recovering addict, whose mantra HALT (Hungry? Angry? Lonely? Tired?) helps her keep her life under control. Still, 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.

After Richard’s extramarital affair makes headlines, the three women are drawn into the painful glare of the national spotlight. Once the press conference is over, each is forced to reconsider her life, who she is and who she is meant to be.

Written with an irresistible blend of heartbreak and hilarity, Fly Away Home is an unforgettable story of a mother and two daughters who after a lifetime of distance finally learn to find refuge in one another.

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Fly Away Home: A Novel + The Guy Not Taken: Stories + Certain Girls: A Novel
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Product Description


“Unflappably fun… Hilarious… In Jennifer Weiner's luscious new novel, Fly Away Home, a political wife's predicament is the catalyst for a highly entertaining story… The message is choosing to live an authentic life. As always, Weiner gives us a woman who stands taller, curvier, and happier when she does just that.” —USA Today

"This is summer reading at its best: entertaining and full of insight into relationships and how they change" — People (3.5 out of 4 stars)

"Fresh, nuanced... Weiner wryly and sensitively shows the trade-offs we all make to maintain our relationships." —Parade

“This best-selling author proves again that she writes the best page-turners around.” – Elle

"Witty and smart" —O Magazine

Fly Away Home is Weiner’s best offering in years. The book is well written, a page turner and timely.” —Associated Press

“The quintessential beach read!” —Columbus Dispatch

"Sharp, hysterical, thoughtful. . .Jennifer Weiner's latest treat hits the spot" —The Providence Journal

“Fly Away Home is the book to pack this summer. The latest from Jennifer Weiner has it all.” — St. Petersburg Times

"Smart and juicy" —Good Housekeeping

"Weiner’s trademark blend of wit and sensitivity distinguishes this timely tale about a family in crisis." —Booklist

“Another hit from Weiner…a quick and engaging summer read”—BookPage

"From the smartest chick-lit author we know...With her signature humor, Weiner humanizes the relationship between a mother and her daughters as they struggle to keep their family together." —Glamour

“The chick-lit superstar is back with a juicy tale that centers around the jilted wife of a philandering senator and her two adult daughters as they try to recover from the scandal.” —Ladies Home Journal

"Lovers of high-quality chick-lit can't seem to get enough of Jennifer Weiner, who leavens the romantic elements of her novels with humour, sophisticated language and insight - not just into the lives of women, but into the social arrangements that govern them" —The Globe and Mail (Canada)

"A satisfying story.... Not all political scandals are created equal. But Weiner's "Fly Away Home" is consistently engaging, a yarn that doesn't depend on breaking news to grab our attention." —The Denver Post

"Weiner remains one of the most clever and funny writers in the chick-lit universe." —The Miami Herald --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Jennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of eleven books, which have spent a combined five years on the bestseller list, with over 15 million copies in print in thirty-six countries. Her iconic debut Good in Bed is now in its fifty-ninth printing. In Her Shoes was turned into a major motion picture starring Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette, and Shirley MacLaine. Her newest novel, All Fall Down, has become one of the best-reviewed novels of the year, hailed as “compulsively readable” by The New York Times Book Review. A graduate of Princeton University, she lives with her family in Philadelphia. Visit her online at

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Champagne Problems and a Mistake July 25 2012
I'm not the fastest reader and I don't always finish books to the end (although I usually peak to see what happens). But with this one, I read in a week without peaking - rare for me. I'm not sure why. The book was okay. The storyline and the weaving of the three women's plights kept things moving. There were too many boring details about cooking, running and clothes, and not enough of Weiner's trademark humour, which is what I was looking for. Selma's straight-forward, no nonsense comic relief punches were too few and far between. Back to the storyline, it was interesting to explore why women stand by (temporarily or long term) their cheating husbands. In this case, I didn't wholly sympathsize with the betrayal bestowed upon those with money and privilege. "He cheated. It's tragic. Driver, take me to my summer home on the beach." How sorry can I feel for this person? Anyway, it was good enough for me to finish in a week so I guess it had some merits.

I'm compelled to rat about an obvious and annoying mistake. Page 227 says Lizzie is wearing billowy cotton pants and then a few pages later on 232 (same day) it says that her skirt is soaked and sticking to her legs. It's annoying that the author does this and then the editing team misses it. When people pay for books, I expect them to be better than sloppy editing.
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1.0 out of 5 stars I'd skip this one Jan. 5 2011
I was quite disappointed with Jennifer Weiner's novel Fly Away Home. I'm not one to not finish a book, but I found it rather painful to get through. There were too many scenes describing the youngest daughter doing drugs. Overall the story just had depressing event after depressing event and yet everything turned out so well in the end. I say too good to be true.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hard to put down in the middle! July 29 2010
Jennifer Weiner is back to telling some amazing stories! I didn't like her last couple of titles as much as her earlier books, but the characters in this one are like more mature versions of the ones you find in Good In Bed and In Her Shoes. Loved it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not her best Aug. 22 2010
I have loved every Jennifer Weiner book since Good in Bed. They had sparkle, wit and a sly humour. This one has none of the previous. A few sentences that made me smile, but for the rest, the Jennifer Weiner I love wasn't there. I sense that she's trying to expand her horizons and as a writer I can appreciate that. However this book didn't go far. In fact it didn't seem to go anywhere for the longest time. This story of a mother and her two daughters and the mess their lives had become could have been so good and for awhile Ms. Weiner delivered on this promise. But the middle of the book sagged and by seven-eighths of the way I wanted to yell at the three characters to talk to each other for goodness sakes. Too much narrative and not enough of Ms. Weiner's trademark sparkling dialogue made this book seem to drag. I cared enough about the characters ( and that speaks to Ms. Weiner's skill) that I wanted them to do something, anything, other than hang around and tell us how miserable they were and how they had messed up their lives. I'm going to hold off buying her next book until I can see where she wants to go with her writing. This one was disappointing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars On Eagles' Wings Aug. 24 2011
By BeatleBangs1964 TOP 500 REVIEWER
Sylvie Serfer Woodruff, wife of Senator Richard Woodruff has spent her entire marriage supporting her husband, even at the expense of their daughters, Lizzie, 24 and Diana, 30. The story opens with an affair he had with an intern hits the media fan. For once, Sylvie does not stand by her man. She tells him to hit the road, Jack and she returns to her girlhood home in Connecticut. (Sylvie's name is a play on words - Silver Surfer is not too far a jump from "Sylvie Serfer.")

Diana was the only character I actively disliked. She is a driven doctor, unhappily married to a man she met while on the rebound. The couple have a 6-year-old son named Milo who has Asperger's. Although the term is never used in the novel, it is clear that Milo has Asperger's. He wears a hat inside and outside of the house to block out noises; is bound to routines and eats only certain items. Diana has an affair with a med student that blows up in her face. I can't say I felt sorry for her when her lover jilted her. In her case, I thought it served her right. Harsh and judgmental, it is hypocritical on her part for her of all people to turns her back on her father for marital infidelity.

Lizzie, home from a rehab center in Minnesota is trying to pick up her life. She has sworn off substances and Diana hires her as a nanny for Milo. Lizzie and Milo bond and they go sightseeing throughout Philadelphia, where Diana has moved. Lizzie is a very sympathetic character. While Diana has long been harsh and unaccepting of her, I just loved it when Lizzie catches Diana and her lover in flagrante delicto. I thought it served Diana right, especially after she ousted Lizzie from her home.

Lizzie meets a really kind man in a coffee shop.
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