- File Size: 549 KB
- Print Length: 212 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Crooked Cat Publishing (October 27, 2016)
- Publication Date: October 27, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01LWK90W9
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #459,562 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$10.99|
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Out of Play: An Unromance Kindle Edition
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Gillian Campbell, married for fifteen years, felt her life was just like a passing day—an everyday routine which includes a heated discussion with her husband about his ridiculous hobby of "live-action role playing or larping". With their current roommate-like situation rather than intimate lovers who almost never been like a married couple, Gillian decided to see a therapist to help her save her marriage tainted by past memories and pain, suppressed but never forgotten.
Ralph Campbell always thought that Gillian never supported him especially on anything that has something to do with his weird hobby. He felt rejected. The only thing Gillian has done whenever there was a chance of interaction between them was to complain on how embarrassing and childish his own version of enjoyment was.
When Gillian's therapist suggested that she should be open on trying something what Ralph's love to do, she decided to at least be interested until she gave in and joined a weekend of larping as an NPC (non-player character) volunteer, only because she wanted to prove Ralph how unreasonable his priorities were.
There she realized that it wasn't bad after all. But a lot of unspoken emotions surfaced without warning. Could this be the way for them to finally get connected again and get the splinter out of their relationship or would it just endlessly outsized the gap between them?
The issues on both characters were real even if most of the story was set in the fantasy world of larping. I understand why Gillian and Ralph found something to do with their own lives separately. They wanted to fill the void missing in their relationship—the connection that was once there and the visibility of spark that's pouring out excessively before everything happened.
I was rooting for Gillian because I knew that she just wanted Ralph's attention and to spend a quality time with him. But as I dive in to the story, I was able to know Ralph better. He used larping as his only way of dealing the REAL problem—an escape, an alternate reality or parallel universe that stroked more appealing than the constant nagging of his wife or the awkward silences they usually have.
It felt like they didn't even know each other. Gillian's trust was sparse. Ralph was becoming more distant.
I love how the writing quality was simple yet gave a credible and impressive structure to the story with an on point plot, genuine characters and an underlying topic about friendship and parenting.
Joy Norstrom was not afraid to stress out how marriage could be imperfect—a strong, positive message about the real battle you face because in any kind of relationship, it's always going to be a two way process where you have to exercise patience, trust and understanding. She was able to point the flaws without romanticizing the truth.
Out of Play is unpretentious, convincing and honest. A story which tells you that life is not always going to be great. Sometimes it gets unhappy, frustrating, vexatious but you have to hope against all odds and preserve an unbreakable bond of 'for richer and for poorer, till death do as part'.
"Open, communicative, and trusting marriages don’t just happen. They take hard work."
**Thank you to Joy Norstrom for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review!
The only reason I'm giving this four stars instead of five is because five stars is reserved for books I will reread, and I don't think this will be a reread for several personal reasons. First, the language. You only have to read the sample to know there's bad language in this book. It didn't detract from the story, but it's not the type of entertainment I subject myself to on a regular basis.
The second is the confidante's subplot. I know others can relate to the problems she's having with her fourteen-year-old daughter, but to me, that seems awfully young. None of my daughters rebelled at that age. We didn't start dealing with those issues until they were much older, and even then, it wasn't rebellion. Just stretching out and discovering who they were. But then, I'm not widowed, and if Jas had handled it well, it wouldn't have been much of a subplot.
Anyway, that's the only reason this is four stars. Do I recommend this book? Well, I would have preferred a more upbeat ending. It's just a tiny bit depressing. As a Christian, I know there's a reason for everything, even if we don't understand, but Gillian is left floundering for answers. (Read the negative reviews to see why some hated the ending.) A fluffy ending might have fit the earlier humor. But despite that, I do recommend it.
Most recent customer reviews
Meet Ralph, the husband, who prefers to go larping ( an interactive role-playing game where you get to dress up...Read more