I enjoyed the book. I think it has a "mature chick lit" theme. I do find the comments in the Amazon.com review, about how now Charleen would be given Prozac and sent on her way, both insulting and untrue. It is insulting from the standpoint that most competent doctors do not believe medication treats social issues and existential angst. I find it untrue in that Charleen does not appear depressed or anxious; she seems to be redefining herself after her life has been turned upside down, and it takes going back to where she started to find out how far she has come, and how strong and independent she is now. The twists and turns weren't hard to figure out, but didn't seem forced or contrived. I enjoyed the novel. It isn't ritzy or racy, but a wonderful story of growth and acceptance.
Charleen is a divorcee in her mid-thirties, eking out a living as a poet and part-time assistant for an obscure scientific journal. Although she is quick to count her blessings - a son whom she loves, a blossoming relationship with a man, and friends who care about her - Charleen wonders how her life turned out the way it did. Is she a failure? Or is she still struggling to escape the limited world of her childhood? Her search for answers is as exasperating as the meager paycheck she takes to the bank every week. But when she returns home to attend her mother's wedding, Charleen is caught up in a series of unexpected - and terrifying - events. And in coping with these big and small emergencies, she is forced to come to terms with the life she has led and the decisions she has made.
A tremendous book. Very well written with great characters.
This is great little book. Carol Shields knows how to weave a tightly woven story. It's a story about a young woman who moves across the country from her family and considers herself very independent. But when circumstances bring the family together, the reader realizes just how much the woman has been shaped, molded and even tied to her upbringing 17 years after she left the family nest. It's a character study of a family that makes you think long after you've finished the book.
Carol Shields is an excellent writer. Her novels are well crafted and very satisfying. I recommend her for any true reader.