“Teach a child to choose the right path, and when he is older, he will remain upon it.” This verse from Proverbs 22:6 provides the theme for the novel Learning to Fly by Roxanne Henke. This novel is a heartwarming, eye-opening book about two very different women and their journeys through motherhood.
The novel follows the story of Susan and Jojo, two friends both experiencing for the first time the challenges of motherhood. Susan, a middle class woman, and her toddler Lily befriend high-class, high-maintenance Jojo and her daughter Tiffany. Although the women lead two very different lives, they create a bond of friendship that results in a similar relationship between their daughters. The women rear their daughters together, both desiring for the girls to become beautiful, smart, and happy women. The distinction between their parenting styles occurs not in the desires for their daughters but in the action that they each take to achieve those end goals.
Throughout the book, Henke intrigues the reader by continually developing the plot by incorporating families, friends, and social conflicts to keep the reader turning the pages. Although Learning to Fly is aimed at mothers, it will bring a smile and a tear to any woman who understands the special bond between a mother and her daughter. The readers will find themselves laughing over the humorous yet tiring descriptions of life with a toddler, sympathizing with young Lily over her struggles with math and friends, and furious over the mistakes Jojo seems continuously to make with her young, impressionable daughter Tiffany. Henke not only brings her readers a story, but she also revives in them a reminiscence of their own childhood memories. With something for women of all ages, Henke’s storytelling ability and valuable lessons shine through in this novel.
Ultimately, Henke delivers a book that not only tells a story about the joys and heartaches of motherhood, but she also brings to light a truth that parents have an indescribable responsibility to rear their children in the way they should go; parents are the essential spiritual teachers in their children’s lives. This duty of leading and instructing children in the way of the Lord is not the easy way out; rather, it most likely involves more tears along the way. But, as Henke painfully reveals at the end of her novel, it saves tears and heartache in the long run when a child has been brought up in the way of the Lord. - Emily Morgan, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
In this delightful new novel, popular author Roxanne Henke (the Coming Home to Brewster series, The Secret of Us), offers readers a wonderful story of mothers and daughters.
Susan Shaffer is a new mom filled with doubt as she and her husband, Seth, welcome little Lily into their lives. Each time Susan thinks she just might have a handle on this “mothering thing,” Lily discovers a new stage of growth and testing and Susan tries her best to keep up.
A chance meeting of a high school acquaintance, JoJo, also a new mom, in the grocery store gives both Susan and her daughter friends to learn and grow with. Parenting their girls from toddler–through–teen years is a constant challenge for the two mothers...and their daughters. As high school graduation approaches, all four of these women face new territory. Are the young women ready for life on their own? Are the mothers ready to let their girls go?
Learning to Fly is a story of life, love, and letting go.