#218 ~ When She Flew ~ Book Tour and Giveaway

Cover of When She Flew

When She Flew by Jennie Shortridge

tlc-logo-resizedToday it is my great pleasure to be Jennie Shortridge’s host on her TLC Book Tour for her novel, When She Flew.  I would like to thank her for sending me both a copy of her book for review as well as one to give away to a lucky reader.  Please see the end of my review for a list of the blogs who are on this tour with me.

I have a lot of fun working as a tour host for TLC Book Tours.  They always have great books and authors on tour.  Check out their website for more information on this tour and the others that they are hosting.

My Review

What our ancestors would have considered minimally acceptable living conditions greatly differs from what would be considered acceptable today.  Houses are not a recent invention, but even in the early 1900s people in the United States lived in sod homes as the America expanded West.  Those same ancestors survived and thrived, leading us to where we are today.  Regardless, choosing to live in the outdoors on property you don’t own is now against the law.  If you do so with your minor child, you run the risk of having your family broken up by Social Services and being charged with neglect.  Raymond Wiggs discovers just after bird watchers tip off the police after spotting his daughter Melinda alone after she wandered off too far entranced by a beautiful blue heron.  After locating the two along with several of her fellow police officers from Columbia, Oregon, Jess Villareal questions whether the state is capable of determining what is best for this family.  She questions whether she can actively participate in taking Lindy away from Ray – even for a short time.  As divorced mother estranged from her only daughter and grandson, her career in the police force is the only thing that makes her feel whole.  Is Jess willing to risk even that to ensure that this small, peculiar family remains together?

Birds play a prominent role in this novel.  The title evokes flight and Lindy is fascinated by them, devouring all that she can about the birds native to the Pacific Northwest.  It is not surprising that from the very  beginning of this novel, which opens with Lindy’s report on barn owls, I was reminded of the following verse from the Gospel of Matthew:

Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? ~ Matthew  6:26

While I might not want to live in a forest, many birds do and they are just fine.  Ray and Lindy had made peace with nature and lived there happily for many years before they were discovered.  Given that it has been done since the beginning of time, why couldn’t – and why shouldn’t – someone with the proper knowledge of the outdoors live in a well-constructed tree house?  If that person is a loving parent who makes his child’s well-being and education a priority, why  shouldn’t that person be left alone to raise his family as he sees fit?  Yesterday’s luxuries are today’s requirements it seems.  In another 100 years, would society find our homes and our parenting neglectful?  Has society lost sight of what is truly important to sustain life?  There isn’t an easy answer to these questions, which are sure to spark some interesting and lively conversations.

jennie2Until agreeing to host this TLC Book Tour, I had never read any of Jennie Shortridge’s fiction.  I am so thrilled that I took a chance on her and on When She Flew.  I found it to be thought-provoking, fast-paced, and fun to read.  The plot never suffered as we learned more about Jess and Lindy’s past, their insecurities, their regrets, and their joys.  It felt right that a mother longing to be part of her own daughter’s life again would fight so hard to see that Lindy and Ray stayed together.  She provides Lindy with the strong and secure female role model her mother could never be.  It also made me question my perceptions of what makes a home both physically and emotionally.  I was as entertained throughout this novel as I was satisfied when I finished it.


American_robin3I have a copy of When She Flew to give away to one of my readers.  This contest is open to readers from the United States only.  I would love to make it international, but my shipping budget isn’t what it used to be earlier this year.

Entering this contest is easy.  Simply leave a comment here telling me what your favorite bird is and why.  The contest is open until 11:59 pm EST on Saturday, December 19th.  I’m planning on announcing the winner on December 20th, my dear husband’s birthday.

For the record, my favorite bird is the American Robin, the State Bird of Michigan.  Isn’t he beautiful against the backdrop of the tulips?  I wonder if he isn’t really Dutch like me?


Jennie Shortridge’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Thursday, December 3rd:  The 3 R’s Blog: Reading, ‘Riting, and Randomness

Monday, December 7th:  Linus’ Blanket

Tuesday, December 8th:  Book, Line, and Sinker

Wednesday, December 9th:  Luxury Reading

Monday, December 14th:  Book Addiction

Tuesday, December 15th:  Hey, Lady!  What’cha Readin’?

Wednesday, December 16th:  A Novel Menagerie

Thursday, December 17th:  Book Club Classics

Monday, December 21st:  Entertainment Realm

Tuesday, December 22nd:  Dolce Bellezza

Monday, December 28th:  Book Chatter

Tuesday, December 29th:  Caribousmom

Wednesday, December 30th:  Presenting Lenore

Monday, January 4th:  The Brain Lair

Tuesday, January 5th:  Redlady’s Reading Room

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  • At 2009.12.10 07:08, Sandy said:

    No need to enter me, as I am going to get a copy soon. But I loved your review, and have heard nothing but wonderful things about the book. I can’t wait to read it!

    • At 2009.12.10 09:53, Amanda (A Bookshelf Monstrosity) said:

      Wonderful giveaway! I’ve never given much thought to a favorite bird, so I suppose I’ll go with the mockingbird, which is the state bird for Tennessee. They have such remarkable singing abilities!


      • At 2009.12.10 10:07, Kathy R (Bermudaonion) said:

        This book sounds fascinating and thought provoking. I’ve been intrigued every since I read it was inspired by a true story. No need to enter me.

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        • At 2009.12.10 10:20, Linda B said:

          It seems a bit copycat-ish, but I will go ahead and name Oklahoma’s state bird, the very beautiful scissor-tail flycatcher. Since it is not a bird you see everyday, when you do spot one it is a real thrill. Thanks for the giveaway. The books sounds great.

          • At 2009.12.10 11:41, Barbara said:

            I’m a birdlover so it’s awfully hard to choose a favorite. Maybe the killdeer. It’s such a nutty bird and last summer one became a friend who followed me constantly in the yard. Please enter me for this book. It sounds wonderful.

            • At 2009.12.10 12:11, a real librarian said:

              Thanks for the giveaway!! I love watching Eagles fly – they are just so majestic!!!


              • At 2009.12.10 12:17, itsJUSTme-wendy said:

                This book sounds just like something I would love to read!

                My favorite bird is Chick-a-dee.
                But your Robin brought tears to my eyes. My friend named Robin died of breast cancer 1 1/2 yrs. ago and I had a picture of a Robin on my blog for one year in remembrance of her.

                forevereading at gmail dot com

                • At 2009.12.10 13:45, Katie B said:

                  This book sounds very appealing to me; I would love to read it! My favorite bird is the cardinal. It was my grandmother’s favorite and I always think of her when I see one.

                  • At 2009.12.10 16:28, Stephanie said:

                    I have been fond of the snow goose for many years. When I first met my husband, he had a snow good mounted on a wall in his home office. After we married, we converted that into the nursery for our first born son and the snow goose remained mounted on the wall – hanging over the crib – to watch over our baby Jack. I have loved the snow goose ever since – and, 17 years later, it still hangs on the wall in Jack’s room!

                    I loved the review – and would love to read the book!

                    • At 2009.12.10 17:12, Florinda said:

                      No need to enter me in the giveaway, since I’m on the same tour :-), but I wanted to comment on the perspective you brought to your review – it’s a fresh and interesting angle on the questions the book raises.

                      I liked this book a lot too, and intend to find more of Jennie Shortridge’s fiction after this introduction!

                      • At 2009.12.10 17:37, Rachel said:

                        My favorite bird is the flamingo. I know they’re a symbol of tackiness but I think they’re beautiful. I’ve collected flamingo stuff since junior high. I even have a flamingo angel on top of my Christmas tree!

                        • At 2009.12.10 19:29, Serena (Savvy Verse & Wit) said:

                          No need to enter me. I have a copy of this book. I can’t wait to read it now after reading your review. excellent.

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                          • At 2009.12.10 20:21, I Heart Book Gossip said:

                            My favorite bird is the Blue Jay. I’ve only seen it once and shes a beaut.

                            • At 2009.12.10 21:36, Margie said:

                              My favorite bird is the cardinal. So bright and beautiful, especially against the winter snow.
                              (This book sounds interesting; I have read some positive reviews of it.)

                              • At 2009.12.10 21:44, Sandee said:

                                I enjoy all birds, but we had the pleasure of a visit this past summer before moving, of two beautiful Eastern Bluebirds. They are so pretty…that bright blue with a band of light rust and white color on their tummies. And chubby little things too.
                                I’d love to read Jennie’s book, “When She Flew”…it looks like a great read. Please enter me in your giveaway. Thank you.



                                • At 2009.12.11 02:22, Sue said:

                                  I have to say I miss seeing cardinals. I grew up in the west and have moved back west, but I lived in Cleveland for four years and seeing those bright red birds always made my day.

                                  s.mickelson at gmail dot com

                                  • At 2009.12.11 11:06, nomadreader said:

                                    My favorite bird is a bluebird. I’m not much of a bird person really, but I love blue, and I think they’re beautiful. Thanks!

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                                    • At 2009.12.11 19:38, HeltytestSeme said:

                                      Amazing, I did not heard about this topic until now. Thankz!

                                      • At 2009.12.11 23:22, Lisa said:

                                        I really enjoyed Shortridge’s “Eating Heaven.” This one sounds even better! I love the morning doves that nest in my trees so even tho’ they’re not very attractive, they’d have to be my favorite bird because of their song.

                                        • At 2009.12.12 10:42, nat @book, line, and sinker said:

                                          i also reviewed this book for TLC and NAL and really enjoyed it. did you get a chance to read shortridge’s last book ‘love and biology at the center of the universe’? i liked that one too!!

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                                          • At 2009.12.12 16:06, mindy said:

                                            a peacock i love the plumage thanks

                                            • At 2009.12.12 16:24, Kathy D said:

                                              Great covers… that is what always catches my eye first about books

                                              • At 2009.12.12 16:54, pksanddancer@yahoo.com said:

                                                my favorite bird is a hawk. i thin k they look so majestic when they fly

                                                • At 2009.12.12 17:23, Mary Ward said:

                                                  My favorite bird is a canary. Growing up, my grandmother had an aviary in her backyard that was filled with these lovely little yellow songbirds. I gave her a little glass one on Christmas one year and when she passed, it came back to me and sits proudly on one of my bookcases.

                                                  • At 2009.12.14 02:02, Deedles said:

                                                    I love the cardinal because of it’s bright red color.

                                                    • At 2009.12.14 13:06, Lisamm said:

                                                      I love bluebirds and bluejays and cardinals and redwinged blackbirds, but I think my fave is also the robin. Growing up in Michigan, we saw them everywhere. I don’t see them much in California! My favorite bird out here on the west coast is the snowy egret. I love seeing pelicans down by the beach too.

                                                      Great review, Jennifer. I really felt your passion. Thanks so much for being on the tour!

                                                      BTW I would highly recommend Jennie’s book Eating Heaven. We read it for book club a couple years ago and had the best discussion. Great book.

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                                                          • At 2009.12.14 20:27, Stacy said:

                                                            I really want to read this one, but please don’t enter me. You can see from my post today that I do not need any more books trying to find a home here right now 😉 Since you went with your state bird I’ll go with mine – the beautiful red Cardinal.

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                                                            • At 2009.12.16 16:04, Anita Yancey said:

                                                              My favorite bird is a hummingbird because it is so tiny and cute. The book sounds great, I’d love to win a copy. Please enter me. Thanks!


                                                              • At 2009.12.17 06:29, wendy wallach said:

                                                                I love owls because of the way that their necks move!

                                                                madamerkf at aol dot com

                                                                • At 2009.12.19 21:00, Sharon A said:

                                                                  My favorite birds are ducks. I love to watch them as they migrate south.

                                                                  • At 2009.12.22 07:03, When She Flew « Dolce Bellezza said:

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                                                                    • At 2009.12.22 12:48, S. Krishna said:

                                                                      I loved how different this book was. Great review!

                                                                      • At 2009.12.23 17:23, Bellezza said:

                                                                        I love how you thought of the Scripture from Matthew and included that in your post. It’s such a comforting verse to me, and so very fitting for this book! I enjoyed your review very much, (no need to enter me in the give-away as I have my own copy to give away 😉 and it was a pleasure to be on the tour with you.

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                                                                          • At 2011.03.16 13:39, Carol Wong said:

                                                                            My favorite birds are cockatiels. That is because I have two of them. They are so different in personality. One is like an old man, a respectful old man and the other is the young adventurer.


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