Lillian and Audrey hatch a plot to escape from Tranquil Meadows Nursing Home, “borrow” a car, and spend their hastily planned vacation time driving to destinations west. They set out on their journey having forgotten that their memory problems might make driving and following directions difficult. Then they meet up with the unsuspecting Rayne, a young man also heading west in hope of reconciling with his family. Without minimizing the realities of old age, dementia, and frailty, Lillian and Audrey's story is rich with laughter, adventure, and hope.
Praise & Recognition
Hepburn is careful not to romanticize Lillian and Audrey's journey: this is no joy ride, though there are certainly moments of delight and laughter. The unexpected relationship that unfolds between the women and Rayne, as he becomes their caretaker and, ultimately, genuine friend, is especially moving. As she marvels at the intricacy of a sunflower, Lillian observes, 'Things are so different when you look closely at them.' This applies not only to these two remarkable women, but to the elderly in general, and certainly to this fine novel.
Quill & Quire
"Flee, Fly, Flown" is an enticing adventure that has plenty to enjoy, highly recommended reading.
The Midwest Book Review
"Well written and lively, worth a read!"
There is comedy, poignancy and an unnerving mix of compassion and dispassion in how Hepburn imagines the challenges of conversations, pain, unreliable bodily functions, confusion and encounters with strangers both kind and vicious.
Literary Review of Canada
The book itself succeeds quite admirably at delving into the internal worlds of two women who are only seen as patients, at displaying the complexities of their lives and their ontological integrity despite such a desperate illness.
The Indextrious Reader
Lillian and Audrey’s adventures explode like spiders across the stars of northern Ontario (and beyond), and readers willingly ride shotgun in Janet Hepburn’s moving narrative of madness.
Buried in Print
Ontario Library Association Evergreen Award 2014 - Short-listed
Lanark County Library's 2015 One Book, One Community title
iTunes Editor's Choice 2013 Top Ten Book - Commended
Janet Hepburn is a writer and poet. Her poetry has appeared in a number of journals and anthologies. Her poetry was shortlisted in the Free Fall Annual Poetry and Prose Contest. She has been a regular contributor to a regional weekly newspaper, writing personal life stories of passion and success. Her travel stories have been published online. Flee, Fly, Flown is her first novel. She lives and work in Port Dover, Ontario.