Friday 13 July 2018

Book ~ "Just Fly Away" (2017) Andrew McCarthy

From Goodreads ~ When fifteen-year-old Lucy Willows discovers that her father has a child from a brief affair, a eight-year-old boy named Thomas who lives in her own suburban New Jersey town, she begins to question everything she thinks she knows about her family and her life. 

Lucy can’t believe her father betrayed the whole family, or that her mother forgave him, or that her sister isn’t rocked by the news the way Lucy is. Worse, Lucy’s father’s secret is now her own, one that isolates her from her friends, family, and even her boyfriend, Simon, the one person she expected would truly understand. 

When Lucy escapes to Maine, the home of her mysteriously estranged grandfather, she finally begins to get to the bottom of her family’s secrets and lies. 

I caught the last half hour of Pretty in Pink (1986) a couple weeks ago (I've seen that movie about a million times) and I wondered what Andrew McCarthy is up to these days.  So I Googled him and discovered he'd written a novel.  The premise sounded interesting so I thought I'd check it out.

Lucy is 15-years-old, the oldest of two girls.  She's shocked when her parents disclose that nine years ago her father had had a one-time fling.  The woman got pregnant and is now raising their eight-year-old son, Thomas, on her own (her choice).  Lucy's father had told her mother about it at the time and she forgave him and they carried on.  Lucy isn't able to forgive her parents for keeping the fact she has a brother a secret, her father for the fling or her mother for forgiving him for what he had done.

School ends for the summer and Lucy needs to get away for a while.  She spontaneously jumps on a Greyhound bus heading to her paternal grandfather's.  She has only met him once but has fond memories of him.  Her father and his father don't get along, hence the estrangement.  Spending time with her grandfather, not only does she get to know her grandfather but she also gets to know more about her own father.

Though this book is directed to young adults (and it's been a long time since I've been a young adult), I liked it.  Despite the target audience, the story kept me interested.  I liked the writing style and thought it flowed well.  It is written in first person perspective in Lucy's voice.  As a head's up, there is some swearing and adult activity between Lucy and her boyfriend, Simon.

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