From Publishers Weekly
After her husband runs off with her best friend, Roseanna Plow thinks it can't get any worse, but the curve balls keep coming. Rosie's job as a social worker is made even more stressful as she's pursued by Milton, one of her developmentally challenged clients, and Mickey "Ham" Hamilton, Milton's boss at the SaveWay grocery. Her dad has just been diagnosed with prostate cancer; her relationship with her meddling mother, the tough-talking, cigarette-smoking Helen Pulkowski ("like a moll in the Rat Pack") is rocky. Rosie longs to swap her mother's tell-it-like-it-is approach for some maternal compassion, but instead finds a long-hidden skeleton in her family's closet. As the two fight it out, New England PEN Discovery Award-winner Mitchell writes prose that hums with vibrant characters, zippy dialogue and a poignant humor.
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"New England PEN Discovery Award-winner Mitchell writes prose that hums with vibrant characters, zippy dialogue and a poignant humor." -- Publishers Weekly
"We live in hard times. That's one reason why a feel-good book like Mary E. Mitchell's delightful Starting Out Sideways
is so valuable. But there are many more reasons to love this book: the characters, who, utterly endearing or deliciously fun to hate, are so fully fleshed out you'll feel you ought to offer them a chair. The full-of-surprises story that keeps you rapidly turning pages. The humor that makes you laugh out loud--literally--balanced by a well-earned poignancy. The writing is fluid and natural and smart. Most importantly, there is a humanity exhumed in this book that makes you feel proud and hopeful about being a human on planet Earth. These days, that's a rare and wonderful thing."
--Elizabeth Berg, New York Times
bestselling author of The Year of Pleasures
"Starting Out Sideways
simply sparkles! Mary Mitchell's debut novel is a fabulous story of joy and heartache, laughter and love."
--Claire Cook, author of Must Love Dogs
"Heartbreaking, redeeming, and beautifully written." - Kim Gruenenfelder, author of A Total Waste of Makeup
"Hilarious and heart-wrenching, Starting Out Sideways
is a superb debut from a fresh and funny new voice in contemporary fiction. Mary E. Mitchell has crafted a story whose vivid characters jump from the page and hang out in your subconscious for days...you will root for Roseanna Plow with every fiber of your being."
--Tracy McArdle, author of Confessions of a Nervous Shiksa
and Real Women Eat Beef