Fly Away Home by Maggie Myklebust

(Cover picture courtesy of Maggie Myklebust’s blog.)

Clean freak’ [sic] Maggie tries so hard to keep her life in order but is foiled at every turn. The descendent of second generation Norwegian immigrants to America, she grows up in New Jersey, spending her summer vacations on an idyllic island in Norway.Later, in the wake of an abusive marriage, she and her three young children leave America and return to the Nordic Island of her ancestors, where she rekindles a relationship with her childhood sweetheart. Pulled between two worlds, her life continues as she seeks meaning, identity and happiness.

With her true love by her side and three more children to care for, Maggie discovers her traveling days are far from over. Life’s unexpected twists see her return to America before being catapulted to the Netherlands. At last she can begin to make sense of her experiences until, that is, she is on the move again.  In the process she learns that life comes full circle, from the hopes and dreams of her forebears to the place where she can finally find peace and come to terms with her past.

Follow this Jersey girl as she flies back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean looking for love and a place to call home.

Blurb courtesy of Maggie Myklebust’s blog.

I have to admit that I had an excruciatingly hard time getting into Fly Away Home.  I’ve read memoirs before, and they often do start off with an explanation about the writer’s family, but the introduction was overly detailed for my liking, especially since most of the people mentioned it in do not really appear in the narrative.  Yes, it gives us important background information, but there are better ways to give information than such an enormous info dump in the beginning before we even care about the writer’s life story.  However, once I finally got past the introduction, I began enjoying the memoir itself.

Maggie Myklebust’s life was certainly not an easy one or a boring one.  Her memoir chronicles her imperfect and unhappy first marriage, the struggles after the divorce and during her subsequent marriage to Harry Myklebust, which eventually turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to her.  Readers will feel the sorrow and stress she went through and will cheer for her at her triumphs.  The way she wraps up the story brings her memoir full circle and gives readers the sense that it was definitely a happy ending after so much pain.

What I don’t like is that there are grammar errors, especially in comma usage where there should be semicolons.  I caught an apostrophe that was pointing the wrong way and on page 34, I even caught this error: “…with the fowl smelling cream…”  You would think that even with a small publishing house, the editors would be more careful than that, seeing as how catching mistakes is how they make their living.  Despite these small errors and the info dump at the beginning, Fly Away Home is a pretty enjoyable memoir.  However, when Ms. Myklebust contacted me to review her book she said that teens would enjoy it because ‘The most predominant part of my book is my teenage years…’ This is not true.  I feel that it really is more suited to adults because most teens would end up supremely bored after the first few pages.

I give this book 3/5 stars.

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