After the success of her first novel Stolen, Lucy Christopher struck the readers with her innovative style of writing in Flyaway. Defined as young adults' fiction, the book combines both imaginary and realistic situations, related to contemporary themes in contemporary times.
Flyaway tells a story about family concerns, a newly built innocent friendship, and the hardship of life. Isla's father is hospitalized. While waiting at the hospital she meets Harry, a boy who is suffering from leukemia, and with whom she gets on very well. Watching together a swan struggling to fly away, Lucy starts thinking that if she can help the beautiful creature, she can help Harry as well.
The book is quite clearly written. Initially, the style of writing seemed to me too simplified. The chapters are considerably short, as well as the sentences, which are written in simple English. They sound even slightly unordinary because of the untypical use of present simple tense. At the beginning this did annoy me, but still the story is comprehensibly and intriguingly written. Action takes place at a rapid pace, without too many of those tedious author's observational impressions, we are all used to. Moreover, the very description of the background is full of incessant movement. However, the book turned out to be quite a good twist of reality and imagination, as purity squirts out of it all the time.
Lucy Christopher has made the plot pretty interesting, sharing an ordinary and contemporary story with the reader, at the heart of which she has placed the symbol of beauty, grace and freedom- the swan. In the course of the book several key relationships are revealed to the reader: between Isla and her father, Isla and the swans, and Isla and Harry. What is really remarkable is that, despite being still a child, the girl demonstrates untypical of her age will- strength. I myself admire the way she manages to cope with anxiety and fear, and even start a friendship in times when everything has gone wrong. In fact, the most enjoyable thing about the novel is probably the sweet and pure romance of the two children. It clearly reminded me that, in spite of the challenges we face, there are always these sweet experiences, which make us smile and forget about the real-life troubles.
Lucy Christopher's book is definitely the piece of writing that will not burden its readers. Its plot is interesting enough to hold one's attention, and not too complex to saddle or confuse. I cannot promise fascination from reading it, but, if nothing else, then one will be able to at least relieve some negative emotions, as Flyaway brings along a great deal of optimism for brighter days despite the hardship of life. Well done to the author. No wonder the book has been shortlisted for the 2010 Costa awards.