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.
The Philadelphia Inquirer writes that Weiner “transcends her own fiercely defended chick-lit author status by running her highlighter across a hot-button question of the zeitgeist: What do public marriages mean in the era of Tiger, Eliot, John, and Billary?” Other critics, however, aren’t quite so sure that Fly Away Home rises above Weiner’s usual fare. After all, it’s the compulsively likable, if somewhat clichéd, women and their issues that take center stage; the less-developed male characters fall by the wayside. Still, as she does in previous novels, Weiner successfully excavates complex relationships. In the end, if not one of Weiner’s best, Fly Away Home “is a well-tuned hymn to the resilience of women in the wake of heartache, regret, and the failed promises of Botox” (Philadelphia Inquirer).
Sylvie Serfer Woodruff is stunned when her husband, Senator Richard Woodruff, is exposed by the press for having an affair with a staffer. Though Sylvie is humiliated, she agrees to stand by Richard’s side during his mea culpa press conference. As soon as it’s over, she heads to a house in Connecticut owned by her family, not sure whether she wants to end her marriage or not. The Woodruffs’ two daughters are at similar crossroads in their lives. Diana, a physician with a young son, is carrying on an affair with a younger man after growing weary of her marriage, while her younger sister, Lizzie, a recovering addict, is trying to rebuild her life after a stint in rehab. Realizing she has always put Richard first before her children, Sylvie makes a bid to have her daughters join her out at the Connecticut house and is surprised to find their lives as tumultuous as hers has become. Weiner’s trademark blend of wit and sensitivity distinguishes this timely tale about a family in crisis. –Kristine Huntley