“We’ll Fly Away,” by Bryan Bliss, is the story of two boys growing up in abusive families, with no love, no respect, and, at times, no happiness. This novel really tugs your heartstrings, and though I realized what happened in the end, it still shocked me to the core to actually read it. This book is a tale of friendship that follows two boys as they suffer through the worst time of their lives.
Luke and Toby are inseparable best friends, seeking shelter at each other’s homes when things get too rough for them at their own houses. Luke is the typical dude: not the best grades, but what he doesn’t understand on paper he makes up for in sports. He’s on the wrestling team, is huge and muscular, and is really good at what he does, not a single loss in four years of wrestling. He has everything lined up for his future and with a wrestling scholarship he can finally escape his neglectful mother and escape from the pain of caring for his two younger brothers in their tiny one bedroom apartment.
When Luke’s mother starts dating a new guy and disappears for days on end, not coming by once to buy food or check on them, Luke knows he needs to do something different. Soon, a new neighbor moves in, Annie, who seems like a good girl to Luke, someone who really understands him and his struggles.
Toby is a happy-go-lucky guy, choosing optimism and joviality to brush off bad things in his life. Toby has it pretty bad, he’s broke, has an abusive dad, but he gets really good grades. You wouldn’t think it when you saw him, but Toby has a good head on his shoulders. That doesn’t mean he thinks rationally though, falling in love with an older woman isn’t a very good idea, but Toby couldn’t help himself.
Over the years, Luke and Toby meet at a wrecked plane in the middle of the woods, dreaming of the day when they can fix it up and fly away from their lives. Their story is really sad, with all the emotional damage the two boys have to suffer through day after day. You can’t help but feel sorry for them and what they’ve been through together. It’s no wonder Luke and Toby want to escape the harshness of their lives.
“We’ll Fly Away” helps readers understand people, and what motivates them to do horrible things, because, as shown in the novel, no matter what you do, no one is past redemption.