(Photo by Andrea Cipriani Mecchi)
In creating the protagonists for many of her popular novels, Jennifer Weiner ’91 frequently drew on personal experience. “I’ve written a lot of characters like me,” she told The Wall Street Journal in July. “They went to Princeton, or they’re journalists, or they have gay moms.” But Sylvie Woodruff, the central figure in Weiner’s new page-turner Fly Away Home, is different: She’s a 57-year-old mom with grown kids and she’s just entered the unenviable club of political wives thrust into the spotlight by their husbands’ indiscretions. (Woodruff’s husband, Robert, is a senator who had an affair with a younger woman.)
While Weiner did not have much direct experience to inform her writing, she had plenty of real-life examples, and according to reviewers and readers, she has successfully brought the familiar character to life in her novel. The Associated Press said Fly Away Home is Weiner’s “best offering in years,” and USA Today called it an “unflappably fun read,” partly because Weiner makes Sylvie such a likable and accessible character.