When She Flew
New American Library (NAL)/Penguin
When police officers find a disabled veteran living in the woods with his 13 year old daughter, they decide the best course of action is to let Ray, the father, go free and send Lindy, the daughter, to foster care. Jess Villareal, one of the police officers, decides that is NOT the best course and she takes matters into her own hands.
When She Flew by Jennie Shortridge is told through the alternating voices of Jess Villareal and Lindy Wiggs. Jess has always wanted to be a police officer like her hero, her dad. She feels as if she's doing what he would have wanted and she hopes she's making the world better. When Lindy's dad returned from Iraq he rescued her from a world filled with drugs and debauchery. Luckily, Lindy had never been involved in any of those things. She and her dad try to make a new life and settle in a wildlife refuge. They've been living there for years and somehow find time to visit the library so Lindy doesn't fall behind in her studies.
In the beginning of the book Lindy's voice has this formal way of talking that could be a by-product of not spending time with others. After the Wiggs are brought in, Lindy's voice changes. The more she interacts with the outside world her tone "loosens". Towards the end the formality returns but there's a hint of knowledge in the voice. Jessica's voice loosens up also. She is intent on her job in the beginning, very this is black and this is white, as the story progresses and she spends more time with Lindy and Chris, she starts to see the gray in some situations. In a sense, it seems the author is saying we need interactions with all types of people. Those forays into other people's lives enhance our own.
The story moved quickly and was intriguing enough to stay with you. I would have loved to know more about the Wiggs', does Ray get help? Also, there was a mystery about Lindy's mom that I want to know more about. All in all, I recommend this book for book clubs. There are author notes and discussion questions in the back that would be helpful.
About The Author
Bestselling author Jennie Shortridge has four published novels: Riding with the Queen, (NAL 2003), Eating Heaven (2005), Love and Biology at the Center of the Universe (2008), and now When She Flew (2009). Prior to writing novels, her nonfiction work appeared regularly in magazines and newspapers, including Glamour, Mademoiselle, Natural Home, and others. The Seattle writer has been called “an accomplished and superior novelist” by the Statesmen Journal and “a writer to watch out for,” by the Rocky Mountain News.
When not writing, she spends time in the community helping kids and adults learn to write better, and has recently co-founded (with fellow Seattle author Garth Stein) a collective of Northwest authors (Seattle7Writers.org) who use their powers for good in the community as well.
When She Flew Tours
Tuesday, January 5th: Redlady’s Reading Room
Jennie Shortridge Website
Jennie Shortridge Facebook
Book provided by TLC Book Tours and the publishers.