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The One That I Want: A Novel Hardcover – June 1, 2010
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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)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Top customer reviews
Ashley Simmons, an old friend from Tilly's past who has now become a psychic, has given Tilly the gift of clarity. Tilly start...more Tilly Farmer is a total optimist and is completely happy in her life. She is living in the same small town she grew up in, married to her high school sweatheart and is the solid rock all of her friends and family lean on. She and her husband are even trying for a baby to round out their perfect life. Then a chance meeting with an old friend changes everything.
Ashley Simmons, an old friend from Tilly's past who has now become a psychic, has given Tilly the gift of clarity. Tilly starts passing out when she stares at old pictures and somehow is able to see into the future. What she sees, however, changes everything she has come to believe as solid and true and she is powerless to change it. She is also losing control of her own feelings and is being forced to feel true anger for the first time in her life. But will these premonitions help her to realize that maybe, just maybe, things have never been what she believed them to be anyway? And maybe, just maybe, things are better that way?
I just loved this book! Who hasn't, on some level, felt a little like Tilly Farmer? After her mother dies when she is seventeen she tries so hard to protect her two younger sisters and take all the weight of what has happened on her shoulders so they don't have to. When her father becomes an out-of-control alcoholic she steps in to support him and help him get on the right track. All this time she is trying to find the best in her circumstances and to deflect any unpleasantness away from her life. I can definitely relate to focusing on the positive and trying to ignore the less pleasant aspects of life just so you can get through the day. What becomes detremental, however, is when you begin to believe that the positive side is the only one out there.
Tilly has focused her attention on picking up the pieces and moving on from her mother's death so quickly that she has deluded herself into believing that everything is okay and what she sees on the surface is the only truth out there. When you do this you fail to see what those people around you are really going through and feeling, and that can be quite a shock when you are forced to face the truth. You can also fail to see what you really want in life if you only focus on what is easiest and most pleasant.
This book in unlike anything I have read before. Allison Winn Scotch did a wonderful job of melding the mystical and ordinary to give the reader a new approach to an old theme: open up your eyes and you just might find out what you really want from life.
Tilly Farmer has a great life. She's happily married to her high school sweetheart and for the past few months, they've been diligently trying for a baby. She's also the guidance counselor at her old high school in the same hometown she has lived in for all her days. On top of steering kids towards college, Tilly has the delightful job of planning the prom every year-- that one dance, that one sparkling moment, where the world awaits, full of promise and hope, just outside the high school doors. Tilly loves that part of her job, just as much as she loves her life.
And even though, her life seems rewarding, underneath the surface, it hasn't always been full of dreams come true. Her mother's death when Tilly was 17 years old, splintered her family apart. Her father buried his grief in alcohol and capable Tilly took over the reigns, trying to solder their family back together all the while being mother to her 2 younger sisters. But, all of that is behind her now, her father is on the wagon, her sisters are grown and she is content to live this life she has efficiently mapped out for herself.
Until the day she runs into her old childhood friend at the local carnival. Her friend is now a fortune teller and she bestows on Tilly the gift of clarity. When Tilly begins having startling visions which end up coming true, she realizes clarity is not something she is ready to face, nor is she ready for the stunning twist her perfect life is about to take.
Allison Winn Scotch does a phenomenal job taking us down the path of Tilly's life, of sharing the despair and the joy of the unexpected turns every life will take. Her prose is sheer beauty. I found myself rereading lines, just for their loveliness.
Pick up this book, but be prepared to neglect everything else in your life. It's a page turner.
One of my all-time fave authors, Allison Winn Scotch, has created another family of entertaining, moving characters, as she follows up her "what would you do?" rewind, Time of My Life, with a play on the future (note--you do not have to have read Time of My Life to appreciate The One That I Want, but if you don't, you're missing out!).