Monday, August 2, 2010

characters with lots of character.

As an author, one of the smartest things you can do is develop characters that a vast amount of readers can relate to. Jennifer Weiner did an excellent job of this in her novel, Fly Away Home. Each chapter reflected one woman's person journal - past and present throughout the story. Our main ladies are Sylvie - 57 year old Senator's wife and her daughters Diana - 30 year old doctor in a loveless marriage and Lizzie - 24 year old addict trying to get her life back on track. It's very women only club.

And no, the men did not get a chance to defend themselves.

Sylvie has spent her entire adult life in a marriage where her husbands feelings were always put before her own. She did everything for him, and he would not be the successful politician that he was if she had not been at this side. Sylvie loved her life. She didn't mind waiting for Richard's eggs, or running his errands, or editing his speeches. She loved him and would do anything for him. So, of course he decided to cheat on her.

Diana never wanted her mothers life. She never wanted to lose herself in her marriage - she was scared to fall so much in love that she lost sight of her goals. That is why she decided to pick Gary to marry. He was nice, decent to look at - not controlling. Not much of anything really but a person to share a house with. It's not too surprising when she finds herself looking for the passion she is missing elsewhere.

Lizzie (my favorite) the misunderstood little sister who got into drugs early in life and has never been taken seriously as an adult. She ends up working for Diana - watching her son Milo - trying to prove herself. Her struggles with addiction go far behind a simple high. She has never really lived her life sober. Seeing everything so clearly is scary, which is why she hides behind her camera lens a lot. You'll like her.

Individually these characters stand on their own. They are beautifully developed and interesting to get to know. Together, they turn this novel into a must-read masterpiece.

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