Reviewer Amy Lignor: Amy is the author of a historical fiction novel entitled The Heart of a Legend, and Mind Made, a work of science fiction. Presently, she is writing an adventure series set in the New York Public Library, as well as a teen fiction series, The Angel Chronicles. She is an avid traveler and has been fortunate to have journeyed across the USA, where she has met the most amazing people, who truly bring life and soul to her books. She lives in the Land of Enchantment (for now) with her gorgeous daughter, Shelby, her wonderful Mom, Mary, and the greatest friend and critic in the entire world - her dog, Reuben
Author: Marina Endicott
The writing from this award-winning author is top-notch, but I found the story like walking through a thick puddle of mud – very slow, very time-consuming, and really, unfortunately, rather boring
Author: Marina Endicott
Clara Purdy is forty-three years old. She works at a very mundane job in the insurance industry; has no husband or children; and, basically, lives as if she’s a hermit in a cage. Not only can she not see a silver lining, but she’s in the biggest “slump” a human being can find themselves in…a time period where no one and nothing matters anymore. She has spent most of her time tending to her ill father and then nursing the long, drawn out illness of her mother, which has made Clara erect a shield between her and the world. In fact, Clara refers to her life as “an abandoned sampler, half the letters unstitched; the picture in the middle vague.” Now, don’t get this wrong, Clara isn’t suffering clinical depression, she just seems to be “calling it in” in her own life, instead of being an actual participant in her day to day world. More than anything, Clara simply finds herself to be useless.
One late morning, Clara is out and about on errands when she goes to turn left and finds herself plowing into another vehicle. As if in a dream, Clara watches this huge family get out of the car she’s just hit. A husband, wife, two children, a baby, and a grandmother, rush from the doors and are taken by ambulance for a complete “look-see,” to make sure that they’re okay. Not only does Clara have guilt for what she’s done, but she also has a sense that she should jump in and help these people who, apparently, have been living in their car for some time. When the doctor proclaims that the mom in the accident, Lorraine Gage, is suffering from cancer, Clara’s life spins out of control…by her own hand.
For the bulk of the story, Clara is taking care of the Gage family. She brings them all to her house as Lorraine stays in the hospital for treatment. She – with the help of various characters, including her wonderful next door neighbor, Mrs. Zenko – feed, care for, educate, and deal with the entire Gage family. The two children add a lot of fun to her life; the baby, Pearce, is a brand new entity that Clara has to get used to; the father of the children has his own ridiculous problems; and, the grandmother likes to shoplift as much as possible, and has an attitude that would make a saint take another look at their lifestyle choice. And, speaking of…there is a parish priest by the name of Paul Tippett who adds yet another level to Clara’s unforeseeable future.
Although the story certainly brings home a variety of issues, and teaches us that being useful and opening ourselves up to the unknown, can be a way to improve our lives here on earth, the actual story tends to go on far too long. The writing from this award-winning author is top-notch, but I found the story like walking through a thick puddle of mud – very slow, very time-consuming, and really, unfortunately, rather boring.
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