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106 of 110 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good golly, Molly can really write!!, August 18, 2012
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This review is from: When It Happens to You: A Novel in Stories (Hardcover)
"When It Happens to You" opens as a tale of a marriage that may be falling apart but doesn't know it yet, told in the form of eight short stories.

The first story tells of a family of three in California--Greta, Phillip and their young daughter Charlotte--that hopes to become a family of four, with the help of fertility experts. Next we'll delve into the relationship of Greta and her mother, who love to interfere in each others' lives but resent reciprocity (We learn Greta and Phillip have split, but Mom does not). Next, we go to the playground with Phillip and Charlotte where we meet her playmate Oliver--who insists he's really an Olivia--and his single mother, Miranda. The next story, wonderfully well told by our knows-the-territory-well-indeed author, introduces Peter Layton, a just-fired (drugs perchance?) longtime star of a popular children's TV show, who leaves New York to come to L.A. and start over and is instantly attracted to Greta. Then comes the title story which opens with...

"When it happens to you, you will be surprised. That thing they say about how you knew all the time but just weren't facing it? That might be the case, but nevertheless, there you will be. You will feel like you have been kicked in the stomach, that your insides have just separated to make room for something big.

"You may not cry at first. You may wonder why you don't cry, and you may even feel like there is something seriously wrong with you. You might look at yourself as though you were a character in a book or a movie and you might think to yourself 'Why isn't that woman crying? What's wrong with her?'"

Next we explore the new friendship between Betty, the lonely widow next door, and young Charlotte. After that, we spend a good bit of time delving into the inner Phillip with his shrink and, then later, with his brother. By the time we arrive at the last story--the "Can this marriage be saved?" story--we will have gotten to know this cast of characters very well indeed and have our own opinions on that subject.

I confess I bought this book partly because The Washington Post gave it a pretty good review, but mostly because "Samantha Baker" recently pulled me through a major mega-candles birthday of my own that somehow got forgotten and it seemed to me that buying her creator's book was the very least I could do in return. I was hoping for "not bad" but what I found was pretty terrific writing...great characterizations...and a believable novel brilliantly conceived in short story form that worked wonderfully well....and which I highly recommend!
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 12, 2012 8:28:26 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 12, 2012 8:32:25 PM PDT
Sharon Isch says:
Ms. Ringwald's book tour brought her to my town tonight. She played to a packed house at Washington's huge and beautiful downtown synagogue. Did you know that in addition to being an actress and now a novelist, she's also a jazz singer? I didn't. She told us she has a jazz album coming out this fall.

If she hits your town on her book tour, go! And take your camera, as photos are allowed--or at least they were at the one I went to. You'll like her. Beautiful woman, warm, taller than I expected, very down to earth. But get there early, wherever it is, if you want a good seat.
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Sharon Isch
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Location: Washington, DC USA

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