I just finished reading When She Flew by Jennie Shortridge.
From the back cover:
Police officer Jessica Villareal has always played by the book and tried to do the right thing. She's worked hard at her job and even harder at her family. Despite all that, she finds herself approaching midlife divorced, estranged from her daughter, alone,... and completely unhappy. And she's wondering if she ever made a right choice in her life.
But then Jess discovers an Iraq vet and his young daughter living off the radar in the Oregon woods, avoiding the comforts-and curses-of modern life. Her colleagues on the force are determined to uproot and separate Lindy and her father, but Jess knows the damage of losing those you love and believes the pair is safer and happier together.
Jess recognizes her chance to make a difference by doing something she's never dared. Because even though she's used to playing by the rules, there are times when they need to be broken...
This book is definitely a story about doing what you think is right, even when it goes against everything you were taught to believe. And it really pulled me in and made me think. I find myself going back and forth about whether or not Jess did what was right. There is the teacher side of me that thinks that Lindy needs to be in the "real world", at least as far as the education is concerned and that they need a real shelter. But there is another part of me, that thinks that if her father is protecting her, and taking care of her (providing food, protecting her, teaching her), then maybe she isn't so bad sheltered from the some of the horrors of the "real world". And the story makes me wonder what would happen to Lindy when she grew up--she wanted to live in the real world and if she stayed in the forest with her father, I wonder how she would adjust to such a different life at an older age.
I enjoyed all the characters in this story. I really liked Jess and how she did what she thought was right. And it pulled at my heartstrings how much she wanted to be close to her older teenage daughter (who was herself a mother of a three year-old). And I liked both Lindy and her father. I wanted Lindy to be happy and feel safe and secure and I felt bad for her dad and his struggles in life after he got back from the war. He just wanted to keep his daughter safe, but couldn't find a job so had to find alternative means of keeping his daughter with him. And I also liked Chris, AKA dogman. I thought he seemed like a genuine nice guy and would have liked to see him and Jess end up together.
This was an engrossing, thought-provoking read and I know I will thinking about this story for a while to come!
I gave this book a rating of 4/5.
*FTC Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book by the publisher for an honest review.