When She Flew
by Jennie Shortridge
Wow! I know it's become cliche to say a book is compelling but never was a book more fit for the verb than When She Flew. From the moment I broke the spine I had to find out what happened next. I even neglected my precious computer. This is seriously good reading.
Thirteen year old Lindy has been living undetected with her Iraq vet father for 5 years in a wildlife sanctuary in Oregon when she is spotted. Police are sent to investigate and make sure the girl is in no danger. Officer Jess Villareal disagrees with her Sergeant who has decided that Lindy should be put in foster care until her safety is verified. Jess has a sense about people and her sense tells her that separation from her father will cause more damage to Lindy than good, so she does something she has never done before: she goes against protocol and helps the father and daughter escape from police custody. Jess is just doing what she believes to be right but it will have farther reaching consequences than she could have imagined.
There is just nothing about this book that I didn't love. The characters were all sympathetic (except the mom who, thankfully, was given very little ink) and courageous. Lindy was beautiful and brave. Jess was strong and full of righteous conviction. The reactions of the police department as well as the community felt genuine. Even the excessive cussing was what I believe would be accurate to this type of situation. This was a story that could definitely be real. In fact it was based on a real circumstance that the author touches on in a small interview in the back of the book.
What I admired the most about this novel was that everyone (except mom) was trying to do the right thing. They were all honorable in their own way. They stayed in character and they developed consistently within that character. I kept rooting for the good guys and dreading the dangerous possibilities. The cover blurb says, "Taut, beautifully rendered." I agree 100%.
You should read this book. Seriously. Now!