Thursday, March 4, 2010

When She Flew by Jennie Shortridge

Title: When She Flew
Author: Jennie Shortridge
ISBN: 9780451227980
Publisher: NAL Trade/2009
Pages: 352

When She Flew is one of those books which linger on longer after reading it. And not easy to review. The story revolves around a father-daughter duo and a cop, Jess. Ray Wiggs is a disabled Iraq war veteran, who has chosen to live out of civilization hidden in the woods with his daughter, Lindy. She, for all her isolation, seems to be an intelligent, knowledgeable girl. Ray has done all he could to bring her up the best way he can. He has taught her good manners amongst other things. He has also instilled survival instincts in her. In his own way, he has protected his daughter from the big bad world. When both are "rescued" from the woods, no way anyone can find anything wrong with either of them.

But one has to go by the world's norms. When the cops who 'rescued' want to send Lindy to a foster home, separating her from her father, Jess is not in the favour of that. She herself has been estranged from her daughter. Therefore knows the pain of a parent away from a much loved child. And somewhere in the middle, the lines between right and wrong gets blurred. She has to do what she thinks is right to keep both together.

The novel begins in the voice of Lindy, who is chasing a Heron, wanting to draw the bird from close. That's when she is spotted. The alternate chapters give voice to Lindy's thought, first hand and Jess' thought in third person. The girl is very insightful and knows what she has to do to be with her father. She trusts him completely and knows that they are both going to be together, no matter what.

Birds have been used as metaphors here and work perfectly well. The prose is engrossing, characters realistic, story told in a moving way, this novel totally grabs the reader. It is supposed to be based on a real life situation, that happened in Portland, Oregon where a war veteran and his daughter were discovered living in Forest Park, and disappeared soon after.

Thanks to Serena, for my copy of the novel.


Serena said...

O, I'm so glad you enjoyed this book. The impact of war on Lindy's father is so tangible in this novel. It is well written and engrossing.

Melody said...

I've read a lot of great reviews about this book so I'll definitely keep a look out for it.

Staci said...

Loved your last paragraph about this book and I have a copy so I need to get it read!

bermudaonion said...

I can't wait to read this one - it sounds fabulous!

Toni said...

I am so glad you enjoyed this one. It is on my list. Sometimes the books that are the hardest to review are the best to read.

Booksnyc said...

I have heard great things about this book and definitely want to read it. I read Eating Heaven by the same author and loved it!