Monday, July 9, 2012
The Do Over
As much as I enjoy my old favorite authors, it's a joy to find a newly published writer that has that same rare ability to not only entertain...but to make real life disappear. I have chosen Kathy Dunnehoff's book "The Do Over" as the first on the long list of wonderful new writer's I've discovered since purchasing my Kindle.
From the description on its Kindle/Amazon page:
Just before her fortieth birthday, Mara Jane Mulligan, devoted wife and mother, runs out of bubble bath, and the ensuing panic attack drives her to Canada for more. She realizes that one foamy soak probably won't cure what ails her, so she takes a 30 day vacation from her life. (What woman doesn't need one of those?) Surely her family will understand. Her son's visiting Grandma, and maybe her husband won't even miss her. Unfortunately, her husband doesn't miss much and tracks her to Abundance, a Vancouver bubble bath company. As her 30 days sail by, Mara Jane Mulligan discovers she has a decision to make that even Dorothy couldn't avoid... Will she click her heels for home or kick them up for good?
I admit that the beginning of the book was slow. Or maybe I was. It took me a few minutes to feel Mara Jane's panic attack and realize that she was headed into crisis. A few pages in however and I was lost. I hated to put it down to sleep. I read while eating. And I didn't want it to end. I wasn't sure whether to go with my homemaker instincts and root for her somewhat less than understanding husband...or to go with my romantic side and hope that she fell hopelessly in love with the handsome stranger who makes her remember how tingles and dreams are supposed to feel.
I found this book very well-written, tightly edited and I found only a few typos and basic errors (probably the fault of cyber gremlins and not the author). When reading other reviews it's obvious that it's a "love it or hate it" kind of book with most reviewers giving either a four or five...or a one (with the majority being the high numbers giving it a final firm four stars). I almost laughed out loud at the reviewer who said that the "number of pages devoted to bubble bath is ridiculous." Obviously written by someone who doesn't get the whole idea of metaphors. "Bubble bath" became to Mara Jane Mulligan the Holy Grail. The one place she got to be herself. The one time that she was something other than her husband's wife and her son's mother. A time that she could relax and just "feel"...and didn't need to constantly remind herself to fill all of the roles that every good housewife must fill. Certainly the soap in the bottle was much more than just "bubble bath."
I gave The Do Over a very rare-for-me five stars. It is one of the very few books that I've read from new authors that I am fairly sure I will re-read someday. And I know I'll enjoy it then as much as I did the first time. I'm also looking forward to reading Kathy's other two books. I'll let you know if she's a one hit wonder (which I doubt) or whether she's definitely found her niche on the bookshelf of life.