Author: Camille Pagán
Fiction: Contemporary Fiction
Tone: Written in first person, the main character is an unhappy working wife/mother who must deal with the loss of her best friend. She can be annoying at first, but keep reading and she will grow on you. Although some of the events may be depressing, the story treads lightly and features relatable humor. (Have you ever been stuck on the toilet without toilet paper?)
Take Away: Penny’s story is raw, honest, but ultimately full of hope. Life may not be perfect, but it can be packed with joy, meaning, and loving connections.
How I discovered this title: It was an Amazon First Reads title. As a Prime member, I can choose one free Kindle book each month.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
At first I found Penny-a stressed out wife, mother, and employee-whiny and unlikable. Her children annoy her. She thinks her stay-at-home husband is lazy, and she resents that her job has derailed her dreams. She longs for the picture perfect home of her best friend and successful lifestyle blogger, Jenny.
However when Jenny unexpectedly dies, Penny must face the truth. She didn’t know Jenny as well as she thought. As Penny deals with her grief, she begins to make changes. I found myself cheering for her as she worked to reconnect to her husband, children, and her own dreams.
As a side note, I’ve somehow hit on a reoccurring theme of grief. I’m not sure if this is particularly relevant to the current unconscious hive-mind or something more uniquely personal. Check out the following:
- I read the non-fiction book, What Matters Most: The Get Your Shit Together Guide to Wills, Money, Insurance, and Life’s “What-ifs by Chanel Reynolds. (Review to follow). In hopes of helping others navigate the process, she shares a brutally honest account of her husband’s death. and presents some things that you can do NOW to make the process more manageable.
- My last book review, Thin Air, features a private detective who is searching for her father’s secrets after his death.
- I attended the play, Tiny Beautiful Things at the Seattle Repertory Theater. The play is about an anonymous online advice columnist and features an intense grief-filled scene about a father trying to move forward after his son was killed by a drunk driver.
- I couldn’t resist the indie-movie, The Dead Don’t Die, starring Bill Murray and Adam Driver (among others) fighting zombies. Let’s just say it doesn’t end well.
Maybe I’ll choose something lighter next…
Do you ever find that your reading and/or other media sometimes settle around a suprising theme? I’d love to hear about it. Please share in the comments.