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Posted June 9, 2011
Great Characters, Great Story
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough by Ruth Pennebaker takes a unique perspective on a family of three generations living together. Joanie, the woman in the middle generation and the bread-winner, is dealing with her ex-husband who's having a baby with his girlfriend, her mother who's moved in with her for financial reasons, her daughter who's experiencing her horrible teen years, and a co-worker who's putting the moves on her.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The tale is often funny, sometimes rather heart-breaking, and will make most of us glad we're not Joanie. But don't think Ivy, the grandmother, or Caroline, the daughter, are out to get Joanie. They're just living their lives, trying to survive like everyone else. Caroline is trying to be something other than the invisible girl at school. Ivy wants to be seen, too, as a whole person, not an old person having to live with her daughter. Pennebaker has even drawn the ex-husband's girlfriend as a three-dimensional character with her own problems and fears.
Each character is well-drawn and believable. I think it doesn't matter whether you're young, older, or the generation in-between, you would like the book and identify with the characters. (Although if you buy it for your daughter, I recommend you read it first since it does have some language and scenes you'd want to check out.) But no matter which generation you identify with, you'll find yourself wondering if they can ever come together. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough is character driven and the three main characters are up to the drive through the hills and valleys of life and family.
Posted April 3, 2011
While reading Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough, I couldn't help but think about my own experiences with the important women in my life. Whenever I am going through something rough, I try to concentrate on how it will benefit me in the future. I was immediately captured and was unable to put this book down. I highly recommend it, especially for those of you going through a rough patch.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 25, 2011
I can see this happening in real life!
Imagine due to the recession in order to make ends meet, you, your mom and your daughter all live together under one roof. You all have your own ways of doing things from preparing dinner, to how you live your life, to dating and relationships.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Now you have the ingredients to the perfect blend of a new novel Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakthrough by Ruth Pennebaker.
We are introduced to Joanie, the middle-aged mom who suddenly finds herself living with her daughter Caroline when her husband up and leaves her for something quite a bit younger than her. In the process of coping with her divorce, she learns to lean on her daughter in many ways. However, Caroline isn't ready to deal with taking care of her mother. She hasn't had time to process the reasons why her father just left their family. Now with her mother falling apart, she has to put her feelings on the back burner to help her mom.
Now without a place to stay, Joanie and Caroline decide to move in with Ivy, Joanie's aging mother, who is very set in her ways and beliefs in how everyone should be while living under her roof. She is outspoken and doesn't hold back in expressing her thoughts to Joanie or Caroline.
What transpires in the context of this novel, is just how they all come to understand one another and work towards uniting under the same roof and come to love the uniqueness that makes each of them special.
I received this book compliments of TLC Book Tours for my honest review and can honestly say, I loved it. It's down to earth and relevant for this time in most of our lives where so many of us are forced to "life boat" together under the same roof just to survive. The outcome is amazing when you can see it from the other side of the situation in watching it all unfold. I would rate this book 5 out of 5 stars. The only word of caution I would have for the reader is there is some profanity but I think it makes the reader understand the stress each of these women must deal with, and therefore does not take away from the storyline.
Posted December 1, 2010
Fifty two year Richard calls his forty-nine ex wife Joanie to inform her that his live in lover twenty-nine years old BJ is pregnant. She calls him an a*s*le and hangs up while her mom Ivy, who lives with her, hears her. Joanie believes their fifteen year old daughter Caroline who lives with her also hates her. She tells moody Caroline who wishes someone would listen to her and stop assuming how she feels. Joanie is unhappy at home and unhappy at work as 24/7 she believes Sartre is right.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Caroline has one friend Sondra. She likes Henry, but with no breasts she has no chance except helping him with his Spanish homework. Her parents' drive her crazy as each wants to have her validate they are the better parent.
Ivy misses her favorite child David who lives in New York with his wife and kids; grandchildren she never sees. She asks Caroline if she prays, but her granddaughter ignores her. Ivy walks to a chic store, which treats her poorly so she steals a scarf.
Joanie drives Caroline to Richard's house. Ivy asks her daughter why she divorced Richard. Joanie says he left. Richard and BJ try to be nice to Caroline, but it is contrived and the teen finally says BJ should consider an abortion. BJ is hurt and Richard angry.
The four prime females are fully developed while the males feel emaciated. Though too long the insightful story line provides a realistic character study of four Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough asking themselves what they did to deserve this life.
Posted April 4, 2011
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Posted November 11, 2010
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