Author: Patricia Anne Phillips
Publisher: Dafina Books (March 5, 2005)
The following review was contributed by: Jennifer Murray Jennifer Murray. Click HERE to view more of Jennifer's Reviews
In Patricia Anne Phillips’ second book she addresses the topic of starting over after a marriage falls apart and the identity that you had grown accustomed to is no longer valid. In this story we meet Ashley Lake, a 45 year old woman who’s been married for a quarter of a century to the same man and it hasn’t been the most exciting of relationships in awhile, but it’s safe. She also has the safe job, the safe wardrobe of drab clothing and the safe figure of being over weight. Her husband Marcus has decided he has had enough of being safe, so he decides to end their marriage setting both of them on a path of change.
To me this book is a hybrid of a chick lit and romance novel. We have the woman who has to pick up the pieces and figure out what is best for her after years of doing what everyone else thought was best. From this Ashley learns that she is strong enough to stand on her own, which is pretty much standard fare for the chick lit genera. Then as we get towards the end, we have romantic interludes, real and dreamed about, that describe how it feels. For anyone who has read a romance novel knows that the romantic interludes are pretty much the meat and potato’s of the story. I appreciated that we had to get to near the end of the book before that element was introduced. I think it’s nice to reinforce the mantra that as a woman you need to feel good about yourself first before you introduce the element of a man who makes you feel good.
I was a little disappointed in the overall story because I felt I was being given too much information and was loosing what was the most important pieces were. The descriptions of what Ashley was wearing before she went out were really not necessary from her point of view in my opinion, especially since we were also given the male character’s perspective of her attire shortly there after. I can understand it from the perspective of the male characters, and to me that fits. This being a take on the ugly duckling view, I’m going to want to see the view of how attractive she is to men, not her nonchalant take. I also feel as if maybe too many characters were added to the story since at points it seemed the author was at a loss as to what to do with them. There was some intriguing plot angles mentioned but not explored as well as they could have been in my opinion. I loved the plot and the core of the story; I just would have like to have seen some of the details handled differently.