Women’s survival at heart of ‘Fly Away Home’

Sylvie Serfer Woodruff is the perfect politician’s wife.

Devoted to the care of her husband, she fills his plate at breakfast buffets — he’s just too busy to do it himself. And if she’s not done with her own breakfast when he finishes his, well, she just leaves it behind.

She wears the perfect tailored suits, has her hair cut conservatively, and makes the rounds to the proper events — all in support of her husband, Sen. Richard Woodruff.

It’s not the life she had planned for in her younger days, but it is the life she now knows.

Until the day her world falls apart.

p>Her best friend calls with the news that CNN’s reporting that Sylvie’s husband is accused of having an extramarital affair with one of his aides. Sylvie wishes she hadn’t answered that phone call.

Jennifer Weiner’s book “Fly Away Home,” coming out in paperback next week, follows the lives of Sylvie Woodruff and her daughters as they find their way back to what really matters in their lives — love, family and hope for the future.

With her life spiraling out of control, Sylvie numbly stands by as Richard confesses to his sin; as her daughters Lizzie and Diana’s lives seem to crumble; and the safe, pleasant world that had been Sylvie’s crashes into a mess.

After “standing by her man” for years, Sylvie takes her life back into her own hands and retreats to the family’s Fairview, Conn., home to regroup, heal and plan for a new tomorrow. One by one, her daughters find their way to the beach house to recover from their own wounds.

Lizzie, the recovering addict who is struggling to find a way to express herself, comes home to find an outlet for her emotions and finds redemption through her love of photography.

Diana, the competent, successful ER physician, whose loveless marriage is suffocating her, comes home to escape the temptation that makes cheating seem so easy.

All three women struggle to find the strength and fortitude to carry on with their lives and make their dreams come true. The Woodruff women will have to dig deep to weather the storms that come their way.

Weiner, author of the best-selling novels “Good in Bed” and “In Her Shoes,” is known for her light-hearted women’s fiction. With “Fly Away Home,” she takes a more serious look at women’s emotions when faced with a crisis and the amazing ability women have to come through the fire not weak, but tempered and strong.

There are light, funny moments throughout the story — it wouldn’t be a Jennifer Weiner book without them — but “Fly Away Home” is a different outlook for Wiener, one that I think will please her fans as well as new readers.

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