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Fly Away Home

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  39,735 Ratings  ·  2,444 Reviews

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 i

Paperback, 432 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by Washington Square Press (first published June 28th 2010)
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Aug 10, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. I'm really shocked that so many Goodread's folks have given this such good reviews. This book was very disappointing. I have enjoyed Jennifer Weiner's books in the past and this one I could barely get through - I did listen to this on CD.

The characters are so unlikeable and so one dimensional. There's really no reason for us to care about them or their challenges. I'm also finding the sister theme of one sister is the smart crabby sister and the other is the flighty sister really tiresome.
Mar 01, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There are some books I find hard to rate...I enjoyed reading them & finish them quickly, but at the end, I don't feel moved by the book, have a feeling of satisfaction at the end of the story or feel that it was special in any way. 2 stars seems kind of harsh, but 3 stars, to me, is a book that I finish and think, "wow, that was a good book".

Fly Away Home is one of those books. I read it quickly & it was enjoyable, but I didn't close have that satisfied feeling I get when I finish a good
Jan 31, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, womens_fiction
I’ve been a little reluctant to read more from Weiner, because the first two books I read focused so much on the weight of the protagonist that it was a little bit of a turn-off. Thankfully, Weiner has grown as a writer and moved away from that to focus on more important issues.

Fly Away Home is about what happens to a family when a betrayal is revealed in a very public way. Sylvie, the victimized wife, decides that she needs some time away. She moves to her mother’s vacation home, hoping to figu
Jan 08, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Boring! I like Jennifer Weiner and have read all of her other books. This one just didn't do it for me. The plot sounded promising; however, the characterization was very flat and cliched. The older, successful, smart sister vs. the younger, slutty, messed-up sister, and the soon-to-be divorced mother vs. the largely absent father is a characterization found too often in Weiner's other books. I would have liked to have seen some other personality traits in her characters beyond these. I feel she ...more
Love Fool
Feb 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

I had my doubts about this book because I read one of Jennifer Weiner's other books and didn't care for it that much but this was really good. The ladies are all selfish and you want to shake each one but I didn't grow up with money, fame, or responsibility like this family did so I don't
Jul 23, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
not going to lie... disappointing, lame and a huge let down after her first books. this is just my opinion though! i feel like she just took an us weekly story of a cheating politician or actor and tried to make it a good fiction book. it was honestly nothing better than boring. sorry jennifer weiner, i used to wait for your books with baited breath -- after the last 2 not sure ill even care.
Amanda Shaked
Interestingly enough, this was one of the first novels that Jennifer Weiner wrote, when she was still working as a journalist. She tells you all this at the end of the book......well before any of the political scandals, i.e.., Elliot Spitzer, Anthony Weiner, Gov. McCreavy, and their sexual improprieties ever came to light. Thus, the book was almost prophetic, in the sense of it kind of gave you a behind the scenes perspective as to what might really go on behind closed doors, between a politica ...more
Oct 30, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book because it was one of those that came up most often as a counter-example in the whole freanzenfreude exploit. I was curious to see what made up the profile of a novel that should've been celebrated as one of the novels but wasn't, by virtue of its treatment of women's issues.

So, I'm a little at a loss. There is a somewhat relentless focus on women's issues, questions of how women identify and define their sense of self and their importance in the world, and the novel explores t
Oct 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jennifer Weiner's Fly Away Home is my selection for the September Chick Lit Plus Reading Challenge.

I listened to, rather than read, this book. Fly Away Home tells the story of Sylvie Woodruff and her daughters, Diana and Lizzie. Married for more than thirty years, Sylvie learns that her husband, Senator Richard Woodruff has had an affair. Sylvie retreats to her family's beach home in Connecticut to figure out what she wants to do with her marriage, and is ultimately joined by her daughters.

Oct 02, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well, my grandmother sent me this book for beach reading. While it was a lot better than most "beach reads"/chick lit, which I detest, it still just wasn't that great.

The book follows the story of three women. The mother, whose husband is a politician, finds out that he husband had an affair. The eldest daughter, Diana, is having an affair and is repulsed by her husband. And the youngest, Lizzy, has just gotten out of rehab.

The mother is the most likable character by far. She goes through a lot
Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo
2.75 Stars

I was really disappointed with this novel. After reading the Book Blurb, I thought I was going to get a literary version of The Good Wife. Sylvie Serfer Woodruff has given all that she is and has to her husband - U.S. Senator Richard Woodruff. She has put him above everyone, including her daughters. She is a glorified gopher - she fetches his breakfast, helps write his speeches, runs every detail of their daily schedule as well as the maintenance of their Manhattan apartment. That is u
Sep 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After the disaster that was Weiner's last book (Best Friends Forever), I started this book with trepidation. But it was quite soon that my fears and doubts were put to rest. Weiner hit her stride in the first few chapters and she never lost it.

The book is told alternately from the perspective of the wife and two adult daughters of a New York senator who has been caught having an affair. After the press conference in which he admits to not only having the affair, but using his influence (but not
Jan 03, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A disappointing story about the "perfect" Senator's wife who has neglected her two adult daughters (the "good" daughter is an ER doctor and the "bad" daughter is a drug addict fresh from rehab) to devote her life to her husband and his career. Then CNN, and every other news outlet, breaks the news that the Senator has had an affair with a young legislative aide and reports that he used his political influence to find her employment in a top D.C. law firm. Predictably, chaos ensues. Talk about a ...more
Lori W
Jul 14, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one was okay, but it was by far, my least favorite Jennifer Weiner book. I found the main character (wronged wife Sylvie) to be pretty boring, and Weiner didn't really cover any territory of political wifedom that hasn't been written about many times in the news, on the tv show, "The Good Wife," or in Curtis Sittenfeld's "American Wife." It didn't feel very original, at all, which surprised and disappointed me, because usually, Weiner's characters are very lively.

I found her two daughters a
Shelly Ellis
Jul 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So Jennifer Weiner is one of those authors that even when its "meh", its still good. She's just a talented storyteller who knows the formula of good women's fiction backward and forward and can deliver on a good tale. But that's the main problem with this story. It's formulaic. I've read other Weiner's works and I can spot the character prototypes and kinda predict what's going to happen. There is going to be a chubby Jewish woman who's witty and wholesome but snarky and finding her way. There's ...more
Jul 22, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jennifer Weiner is one of my favorite authors. Her characters are living, breathing creations that I can relate to and imagine having a conversation over coffee with them. I started reading her books five or six years ago with Good in Bed and I eagerly await each new novel.

Fly Away Home is a novel that sounds like it is ripped from headlines. Sylvie Serfer Woodruff has changed herself over the years into the perfect politician’s wife. Her husband, Richard Woodruff, is a high powered senator from
In my mind, there are two major categories of chick lit. There are the light, frothy, and humorous ones, written by authors like Hester Browne and Wendy Wax. Then there are the more dramatic ones, written by authors like Karen Hawkins. From what I've heard of Jennifer Weiner's books like GOOD IN BED, I assumed her novels belonged in the former category. But FLY AWAY HOME is firmly in the latter, which I don't prefer. Therefore, it started slow but picked up speed. It does climax with a disatrous ...more
I’ve been a huge fan of Jennifer Weiner’s since 2001, when her hilarious debut novel Good In Bed became every fat girl’s favorite chick lit book. In Fly Away Home, we see the bonds between Sylvie Woodruff, and her two daughters, Diana and Lizzi. Just as in Ms. Weiner’s In Her Shoes, one daughter is the classic overachiever, the other, the underachiever we secretly root for. But, Jennifer mixes things up a bit from her normal pattern and has the girl’s father, Senator Richard Woodruff screw up. W ...more
Aug 08, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If this had been my first time reading a novel by Jennifer Weiner, I would've been satisfied. But after reading Weiner greats such as "Good in Bed," "Certain Girls," "In Her Shoes," and "Little Earthquakes," - "Fly Away Home" didn't do much for me.

The premise is certainly timely in that a senator's wife, Sylvie Woodruff, discovers (along with the rest of the country) that her husband Richard had an affair with a much-younger lobbyist. Sylvie has to figure out what she's going to do next. Stick
Sep 04, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fly Away Home is a beautifully written story of women who rise to the challenge of accepting and changing unpleasant truths about themselves. It’s about the difficulties both private and public of being a member of a Senator’s family as news of his affair with a much younger woman hits the news. The book is told from the perspective of the different family members, Sylvie, the Senator’s wife and each of his two daughters. They are complex and flawed characters and through them Weiner touches on ...more
Why I really liked this book: each woman, the heroine, and her two daughters, had issues with "life" and control ... messy, messy life and the choices we make. Life is tricky and has a way of spinning out of control no matter what. So faced with the ultimate indignity, a political wife withdrew to a sad old comfortable CT beach house (and as much as I like Martha Stewart tales of reclamation, the only decorating was "interior" and internal Lol) ... and took stock, and made stock and roasts and s ...more
Jun 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this is definitely my favorite book that I've read so far by Jennifer Weiner. As much as there were sad things happening, it was uplifting at the same time.

I really liked all of the characters. They completely seemed real to me. I kept thinking of Sylvie, the mom, and relating her to my mom. And how my mom is always there backing up my dad and how if my dad was unfaithful I could see the next series of events unfolding the same way they did in the book. I could also relate to a little bi
May 31, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama, audio
Listened to as an audiobook, narrated by Judith Light.
This was a heartbreaking story of how wrong things can go within a family - First, Sylvie finds out that her senator husband had an affair with a young aide - she discovers this at a rest stop while en route to yet another political event in support of her husband. Next, Sylvie's work- and run-aholic oldest daughter Diana is having her own affair to escape her boring husband. Finally, Sylvie's youngest daughter Lizzie, newly released from a d
Jan 08, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am not sure that I really want to waste much time doing a synopsis of this thing. It is one of those "taken from the headlines" stories in which a woman, who has devoted her entire life, to a politician finds that he has been having an affair with one of his aides. With asides to such shell shocked wives as Dana McGreevey and others, Weiner goes on and on and on about the affair and its aftermath. It gets quite tiresome really, in that not much happens in this book. No one really learns anythi ...more
I used to be the type of person who would insist upon finishing a book even if I was not enjoying it. Then I realized life is too short for such silliness. :)

I got about a quarter of the way through this book, but I just wasn't into the characters or the story. Perhaps it is because we hear about politicians having extra marital affairs so often in the news that I just didn't feel the need to invest in a fictional account of such a story. While it is probably a decent book with an interesting in
Aug 21, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm not finished but I can say I'm not happy with this novel. I don't like any of the characters and don't particularly care what happens to them. And Weiner keeps referencing other political wives who've been cheated on as if it's a research document. This is missing the usual Weiner flair, and she just fails to get close enough to any of the characters.

I think she should stay away from writing based on the headlines (wives who stand at the side of cheating politicians) and go back to creating
This is a good book, told from three different viewpoints. The first one is Sylvie Serfer, the wife of a senator. He is caught having an affair with an aide and the book is about how she copes with that. It also tells the stories of her two daughters. Diana, the elder, is a doctor who is cheating on her husband of seven years. She has a three-year-old boy. She doesn't love her husband and never has. Lizzie, the younger, is a recovering drug and alcohol addict. She is clean for nine months and ha ...more
Sep 06, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I've liked this author in the past, and I am feeling really let down by this book. One of the things that hacks me off the most is the reviews on the back cover. All are glowing... but when you read closely, you find they are reviews of the author in general, and not of this book. These characters are not believable, especially the poor ER doc's husband, who is presented as a sniveling caricature of a man, no humanity whatsoever. The ending is just sickeningly neat. Really wishing for my money b ...more
Aug 29, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Yuck. I will not be finishing this book. Reading the first chapter, I thought, great, another book about rich New Yorkers. Sigh. And, of course, the woman who sacrificed for her politician husband is the last to know about his affair. Okay, let's see if the second chapter, narrated by her ER dr daughter, is better. Uh, no. The daughter is having an affair with an intern IN AN EXAM ROOM. I'm done. Weiner is better than this. What a disappointment.
3.5 Stars
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Jennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of fourteen books, including Good in Bed, The Littlest Bigfoot, and her memoir Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing. A graduate of Princeton University and contributor to the New York Times Opinion section, she lives with her family in Philadelphia. Visit her online at
More about Jennifer Weiner...
“Divorce isn't such a tragedy. A tragedy's staying in an unhappy marriage, teaching your children the wrong things about love. Nobody ever died of divorce.” 384 likes
“Sometimes the worst thing that happens to you, the thing you think you can't's the thing that makes you better than you used to be.” 107 likes
More quotes…