Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Stand By Your Man

I recently read Jennifer Weiner's Fly Away Home for my Yummy Mummy Bookclub.  I've talked about the YMBC in another post here.  I had never read Jennifer Weiner before but I had seen the movie "In Her Shoes" based on her book.

Fly Away Home chronicles the voyage of Sylvie, after it is revealed that her politician husband had an affair with a much younger woman who he then helped get a job at a prestigious law firm.  He comes clean with Sylvie and his two daughters: Diana the hyper Type-A control freak, over achieving, ER doctor (who is by the way also having an affair) and Lizzie a recovering addict.

The book club discussion was really interesting.  It covered the gamut of our thoughts on the extra-marital affairs of Richard (Sylvie's husband) and Diana (their daughter), the mother-daughter relationship and self-respect.

As I looked back on the commentary, and my comments in particular, I realize that they were all pretty negative.  Sylvie was a woman who had children but hadn't been much of a mother - making care of her husband her priority and full time job.  Diana, seemingly perfect but exceedingly brittle sought to control her life by stupidly settling into a loveless and lust-less marriage and becoming obsessed in an affair with a younger man.  Lizzie, with her addiction recovery strategies and more bohemian life was by far the most likeable character for me.   Richard, Sylvie's husband, is a typical self-centred politico whose only motivation for coming clean is to save his reputation and career as opposed to rebuilding his family.  The ending was also too neat and tidy for my liking.  I wonder how much of that was the author's doing versus an editor's input (as pointed out by one of my YMBC compatriots).

Despite all of this, I actually quite enjoyed the book.  Weiner's writing style is entertaining and easy to read.  There are some great secondary characters, Sylvie's mom Selma in particular, whose comic relief is underscored with some sage, motherly advice.  It's a nice, light, girlie read and my copy is already on the loaner circuit.

Also, half the pleasure of reading a book like this is knowing that you are going to get online with a bunch of smart and fun ladies who like to read as much as you do; and talk about it with a glass of wine.  From the comfort of their own living room/bed room/kitchen/bath room - anywhere they can find a moment of solitude and quiet.  Sometimes in jammies.  :-)

If you're interested, follow Wanda at Bookalicious on Twitter @YMCBookalicious.  She sends out regular updates on the YMBC.  You can also join the YMBC on Twibes at http://www.twibes.com/group/YummyMummyBookClub.  We're anxiously waiting for our next club read!

2 comments:

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Sometimes it is not even the book--it is talking with ladies like you. In the crazy SAHM world it is awesome to talk to adults (and in our jammies.)
Great review of the book too!

Danielle
@justdworld

Nikki said... [Reply to comment]

@Anonymous

Thanks so much Danielle! Appreciate you reading and commenting.