Fly Away Home by Rachel Heffington
Rachel's blog was one of the first I found when I started blogging myself. I have always enjoyed her posts and her charming writing style, so when I learned she was publishing a book I was beyond delighted.
Fly Away Home is set in the 50's in New York and is the story of a journalist named Callie. Callie has dreams of fame and fortune and is determined to achieve her dreams no matter the cost. Almost. If the cost is putting hard work into the job as an obituary writer she does have then that cost is too high. Starting from the bottom and working up doesn't really fit into Callie's dream. But this changes when she is offered a position to work on a family friendly magazine with the famous Wade Barnett. This is Callie's chance, though there are problems. She and Mr. Barnett clash nearly non stop, and when Callie's past rears its ugly head she is certain her dreams are going to come crashing down.
I think it is only fair to say right off, Fly Away Home is not my kind of story. It was good, the style is what I have come to expect from Rachel, but it just isn't the kind of story I personally take a liking too.
First off, it was a slower pace. I don't mind slower stories, but they have to be a certain setting for me to enjoy. (Something like childhood adventures, such as with The Story Girl.) A lot of Fly Away Home was Callie and Mr. Barnett talking to people for interviews and bickering.
Another thing I had a bit of a problem with was Callie. She had a lot of struggles, such as thinking little of men, that nearly all she did was perfect, and looking down on anyone whom she considered to have a lower status. While these could have been worked on, resulting in an inspiring change in the end, I almost felt like they were accepted as okay. Callie does change and grow, but for all her struggles and problems, I didn't feel there was enough growth, which in turn made her attitude almost feel like it was acceptable and "okay". I guess I just wanted more, a better look into how these attitudes draw us from God, not closer.
There was some, what I guess is called mild, language in the book which I had a bit of a problem with as well. I expect this kind of language in certain books, such as it was in Ranger's Apprentice, but this is a book written by a Christian Author. I always have higher standards with Christian Authors. While there was nothing one would call R rated language in it, I still feel this took from the story. Because language is language. It is like white lies, it isn't any better because it isn't the F word, just like a "white lie" isn't any less a lie.
I know this doesn't give a settler review of the book. And I do hate giving anything less then a settler reviews...but these were a lot of feelings I came away with. I'm still not sure what my overall thoughts on the book are.
It is clearly a romance, with I believe romance being the under laying plot, which I have mentioned before as not just being my thing. But over all, there was some charm to the story, and I did feel like I was seeing Callie's world in vibrant colours, shimmering almost through a dim glass, as she was putting on a display of a well to do girl while trying to hide her past. (Another thing I had trouble with as her reason for hating men felt off and really not something I would think would bring so much hate and anger into the life of a young girl.)
My over all advice would be to try the book if you like romances and the 50's and well told stories. A lot of people have fallen in love with the book and it has done well. Maybe I went into it expecting something different then the story told.
All that said, be sure to check out Rachel's BLOG because she really is a very dear person and her posts are always worth reading.