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Review & GIVEAWAY – When She Flew by Jennie Shortridge

The winner of When She Flew  was commenter #23, which is Angie! Congratulations, Angie! I’ve emailed you for your mailing address.

when she flew

When She Flew
by Jennie Shortridge
352 pages
Published November 3, 2009

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to write this review without giving away a lot of spoilers. If you haven’t read the book, feel free to skip down to my two sentence verdict.

I was really intrigued by the premise of When She Flew by Jennie Shortridge: a young girl, 12 years old, and her father, an Iraq veteran with PTSD, are found living in the wilderness. The girl, Lindy, is happy, healthy, and getting an education, but the police have decided that the father isn’t providing a good enough home for Lindy and wants to break them up and send Lindy to a foster home. One of the police officers on duty, Jess, doesn’t think this is right and disobeys her orders to take Lindy to Social Services. Instead, Jess reunites Lindy and her father and helps them escape.

The book alternates narration between Jess and Lindy. Lindy loves birds, so birds come up in various ways throughout the novel, and you’ll see Lindy’s passion for birds as she talks about them. Before Lindy and her father are taken away from her home, they have an owl that hangs around their campground and sleeps near them. Lindy followed a blue heron in the creek near their home, which is how she and her father were found out, because some bird watchers happened to see Lindy and were concerned about her welfare.

I loved the themes running through this book: Where, exactly, is home? What makes a good home? Must people accept modern technology to provide their children a good home? When do you obey orders and when do you disobey orders? How do you know what the right thing to do is? What makes a family?

There was a subplot that I didn’t think was explored enough. Jess has a daughter who she has a tense relationship with, at best. The reader is given a little background into their relationship, but I would have liked to have seen a little more development at the end, because I felt like the relationship changed around a little too quickly for all the history Jess and her daughter had between themselves.

The only other thing that I thought should have been explored more was Lindy’s dad’s PTSD. At one point her dad’s irrationality due to the PTSD put her in serious danger. PTSD was thrown in a little too lightly and never fleshed out as far as whether to take that into consideration when allowing Lindy’s dad to retain custody of her, or even how bad his PTSD was.

tlc logo resizedOverall, I enjoyed When She Flew.  I think there wasn’t enough of a balance between plot and character development, but it certainly didn’t make me enjoy the story any less.

Rating: 85 out of 100

Check out Jennie Shortridge’s website.

Thank you to TLC Book Tours for allowing me to be on this tour! Below are the rest of the tour stops for the week; I encourage you to see what these bloggers think of When She Flew.

Jennie Shortridge has graciously agreed to provide an extra copy for a giveaway! To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment telling me what your favorite bird is. Only one entry per person. Contest ends Saturday, December 12, 2009 at 11:59pm PST. US and Canada only.

Book source: As noted above, I received this book from the publisher via TLC Book Tours. Just so we’re clear.

And one more thing? If you click on one of the When She Flew links and buy something from Amazon, I’ll make a commission! Mwahahahaha!! Maybe with the pennies I make I’ll be able to call someone who cares.

You can thank the FTC for this disclosure!

| Tags: , , , , 26 comments »

26 Responses to “Review & GIVEAWAY – When She Flew by Jennie Shortridge”

  1. Jennifer @ Mrs. Q: Book Addict

    My favorite bird is a dove. I love all that they represent.

    I would love to read this book, great review!


  2. Jenn @ That Just Happened

    My favourite bird is a Robin because they arrive with spring. Which means I am waving bye-bye to winter…and 45 min drives to work.


  3. Gina B.

    My favorite bird is the cardinal. I love it when he appears during winter. His vivid red cheers me up, especially when there is snow on the ground.


  4. Lindymc

    I love all the birds that gather by a bird feeder in winter; but I’m especially thrilled to see a scissor-tailed flycatcher during spring and/or summer, because it is not a bird you “see everyday” — and they are so beautiful and graceful.


  5. Lisamm

    I like the robin because it’s the first sign of spring and it reminds me of home (Michigan). We don’t see them in Southern California too often but in Michigan they’re everywhere.

    Thanks for taking the time to read and review When She Flew. It sounds like a story I am going to love based on the subject matter, and being a Shortridge fan already I think I’ll like it more than you did.



  6. Rayna

    I love to hear the whipporwill sing its name when I’m sitting on the porch in the evenings!

    Thanks for the givaway! 🙂



  7. Jeanne

    My favorite bird is a parakeet, because I love hearing them warble and whistle. I just wrote about this today.


  8. Jo-Jo

    I’ve enjoyed watching the birds since we have moved to our new home in a country setting, so it is hard to pick just one. I think I will go with the Cardinal.


  9. nomadreader

    My favorite bird is a bluebird. I’m not a big bird lover (or animal lover), but they’re so beautiful and strike me as immensely peaceful. Thanks!


  10. a real librarian

    My favorite bird is the Eagle. They are so majestic!! Thanks for the giveaway!!


  11. Meghan Carter

    Crows, because they are universally despised and I feel badly for them!

    Thanks for the great blog!


  12. Kathy

    I’ve enjoyed seeing this book on tour and am fascinated that it was inspired by a real incident. No need to enter me.


  13. sarah pekkanen

    Mine is the osprey. I see them all the time on the water in Southern Maryland and every year, a family with a nest near our house has babies.


  14. Sharon Walling

    I think one of my favorite birds is the goldfinch. I live in an upper apartment and we have a deck, and the goldfinches hang out on the railing. They like to stare in at my cat, and she looks right back.

    I would love a chance to win this book.

    Thanks for the chance.


  15. enyl

    My favorite bird is the beautifully brilliant parrot.


  16. amy H

    favorite bird is the same as my Mom’s- the Cardinal, because they are such a bright and friendly visitor when the snow is deep and the winter cold.


  17. Helen

    I love the hummingbird. Thank you for the giveaway!


  18. Tammy D

    My favorite birds are hawks. They are such graceful birds to watch as they glide through the air looking for prey.


  19. Kiki

    I am a bird lover, but my very favorite bird is my very own society finch, Tweety. I’ve had her since she was a baby and she is hand-trained, and likes to hang out with the family on the sofa!

    Love to win the book!

    Glad to see your back, hope you are feeling back to normal!


  20. anne

    Thanks for this great giveaway. My favorite bird is a bluejay.


  21. Stephanie

    I skipped to the final sentences. Love your wrap-up!! Cardinals are pretty. But I don’t really like birds. They actually kind of creep me out. Is that weird??


  22. Bookish links for Saturday, December 19, 2009 | BOOKS AND MOVIES

    […] ~ Win When She Flew by Jennie Shortridge a Hey Lady! […]

  23. Angie

    My favorite bird is an indigo bunting.


  24. Beth F

    I skipped to your 2 sentences — still not sure if this one is for me.


  25. zibilee

    I have been wanting to read this, so please do enter me in your awesome giveaway! And my favorite bird would have to be the African Grey Parrot. After reading the book about Alex the African Grey I was pretty darned impressed with that particular breed of bird. If you haven’t read the book I highly recommend it!


  26. S. Krishna

    I agree that I would have liked more exploration of the PTSD as well, but I liked how unique this book was.


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