From Publishers Weekly
In the latest from Scotch (Time of My Life
), a clichéd story of a baby-craving 30-something, gives way to an aching, honest look into the death and rebirth of relationships. Tilly Farmer is a high school guidance counselor who married her high school sweetheart, has never left her hometown of Westlake, Wash., and is sure that the key to her happiness is getting pregnant. When an unexpected encounter with an old grade school friend (now a psychic) leaves Tilly with the ability to see the future, what she foresees is not a baby but losing her husband to a job in Seattle. Though the far-fetched plot device feels tired, Scotch combines the fallout of Tilly's visions with the burdens of an alcoholic father, angry younger sister, and deceased mother to bring her character into focus. Scotch answers hard questions about the nature of personal identity and overwhelming loss with a wise, absorbing narrative. (June)
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Scotch (The Department of Lost & Found, 2007; Time of My Life, 2008) specializes in heroines at a crossroads, questioning their life choices and preparing to embark on journeys of self-discovery. Here she hews closely to this formula. Tilly Farmer is aggressively insistent in claiming that she loves her life, including marriage to her high-school sweetheart and a job as a high-school guidance counselor. She’s actually in a rut but doesn’t know it, until a fortune-teller provides her with the gift of “clarity” regarding the future. The more honest Tilly is about her emotions—especially the anger, resentment, and grief tamped down since the death of her mother—the more her perfect world unravels and the closer she comes to real happiness. Scotch creates eminently relatable characters, with a particularly excellent understanding of the way sisters interact, and has the ability to craft scenes of real emotional weight, so much so that none of her flash-forwards or hocus-pocus is necessary. --Patty Wetli