Jen's Reviews > When She Flew

When She Flew by Jennie Shortridge
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's review
Nov 21, 2009

really liked it
Read in November, 2009

I was fortunate to see the author read from this novel and discuss the genesis of the book. In 2004, a Vietnam War veteran and her daughter were found living off the grid in a large park near Portland. Their encampment was clean, and the girl was 13 but read at a 12th grade level. People were worried about abuse, but they were just a loving father and daughter. A media frenzy ensued.

What intrigued Shortridge was that one of the officers on the case, a single father, felt that they shouldn't be separated - few agreed with him. Shortridge befriended the officer, who even took her on a hike to their former encampment, where they found a mud-encrusted yo-yo that Shortridge kept on her desk while she wrote When She Flew.

Shortridge took that real-life event and created a work of fiction that explores family relationships and what's "normal" by societal standards. The book is written from two perspectives: in the first person for Lindy, the young girl in the forest, and the third person for Jess, the officer who is on the search team that finds her, and who decides they shouldn't be separated. I fell in love with the characters and felt warm and contented when I read the last page.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Kelli Marko can I borrow??? Sounds good!

message 2: by Carol (new)

Carol Neman Jen, I loved your review, it made me really want to read this book (When She Flew)...a lot of reviewers seem to base their ratings on whether they agree with the characteristics of the characters, or they are bored at the time. I always enjoy the 'backstory', it helps me to get a 'bigger picture' of not just the event, but the writing style of the author. Can't wait to read it!

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