Social Icons

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Review - A Life Less Ordinary By Victoria Bernadine

A Review By Wendy
3.75 Mid Life Introspection, Risk Taking Adventure Stars 
* * * 3/4

We all know about men having mid life crisis's... they get hot convertibles...or if they can handle it, Harleys. They look to younger women to make them feel as if they still matter on the food chain...they figuratively bang their chests... screaming by their actions... I AM MAN... I MATTER.    

Well, what about women of a certain age... what about them...The ones you see everyday; they are the trusted co worker who knows where "all the bodies are buried" at work. She is the one we all confide in and wish to get on board with any project we do. She is always there encouraging the team to push through the hard times and become victorious. Ever wonder what she does after hours... what type of things interest her... and whether she thinks about time gone by and decisions made.                      

A Life Less Ordinary addresses all of these questions plus so much more. The main catalyst for this story in our 45 year old indispensable employee, Manny. You know the type... she has devoted her life to the company... only to be passed over time and time again for the promotion she deserves. We are there when the realization hits her... life has passed her by... the people at the top will never give her any consideration for management. Although she was the one doing the position, holding the team together, making their goals; management has brought in someone half her age stating she brings in "fresh new" ideas... code for she is younger than you...

Manny is in the first meeting with the replacement and team... listening to her drone on about all the years Manny has given to the company in the same position... and how great it will be for her to continue doing just that... for another 15 years. In an instant... micro second... Manny finds herself standing and saying she's done.. giving 2 weeks notice if they want. Miss Newbie, furious says... no and out Manny goes... free as a bird. She puts her house on the market; cashes out her pension and plans a 6 month road trip to discover the self she lost. She has decided it would be more fun with a fellow traveler. She puts out an ad for a man able to match the expenses with no interest in a liaison... just travel partner for 6 months. 

Manny presents what she has decided to her sister Daisy and almost sister Rebecca. Both of these women love and adore Manny. They have seen her give of herself to everyone else for years and although they are very concerned... they are also supportive of what she is about to do. Luckily, finances are not a problem for Manny... she will be able to take a breather, discover and try life... she just needs to find the right travel partner.

This is where things become interesting...Zeke Powell is a writer/blogger. He has a sarcastic, cutting way which his readers love. He tell the truth as he sees it and can sometimes be actually cruel in his observations. His most recent posting had to do with Middle Aged women and how "dried up and useless" they are. His employer had seen the ad Manny put out and suggested he apply... he would be funded by the blog; could write about how this woman was scared all the time and probably would turn tale and not even leave the city ... it would be great for the blog.

Zeke is a man who turns his back on things once he decides he is done. He has walked away from countless women without a second glance... it all stems from a hurt long ago... made him a touch cynical and when all the things in his life line up a specific way... he decides to meet with Manny and see if he will travel with her. The meeting is not earth shaking; he, being fantastic looking does make Manny pause but she continues the "interview". Zeke pegs her an Aunt Em type and with her typical plain appearance, figures she may not even have the guts to do the trip. After both lobbing questions at each other and coming to the conclusion they both are not axe murders... Manny offers him the trip.

Daisy and Rebecca both make sure Zeke checks out... background checks are done and Zeke has no dead bodies hidden. The day comes for them to leave; Manny has purchased a camper equipped with mini frig, bathroom, bed and storage. Zeke arrives waiting for her to tell him she made a mistake and the trip is off. He is slightly surprised when she is ready to go and climbs into the van. The trip starts and we get to experience all of it....

Manny is an every woman who took the question of "is this it?"... and did something about it. She surprised Zeke by not falling into the cliche he pegged her to be. Both experienced growth... he became more aware of how he has behaved in the past... he learned to open his mind and heart. Manny learned she was who she was... but better than she thought... she needed to open herself to more than work and just existing. What she also learned was her inner voice, an imaginary hunk Harvey, may be a great tool to do positive self talk... but it wouldn't hurt to actually have a real man be a friend to do that, too.

As I mentioned earlier, this is not just about Manny; there are seriously detailed stories about the secondary characters... to the point secondary is questionable. These other arcs are so interwoven and reflect the life changes and understandings we must experience, too. We are presented health issues; relationships betrayals; parental mistakes and children who live in denial. All of the subjects are real everyday things which any one of us could be experiencing. The way these characters approach them ring true.   

This is not a typical romance HEA... it is more of a learning to love yourself and be open for life HEA. The subject was handle well and one of the most interesting things I learn about the writer and story was found in the acknowledgements. I think it might have been an asset to have had it before the book...Either way... an interesting read.

A gifted copy was provided by author/publisher for an honest review. 

No comments :

Post a Comment