Claire Voyantby Saralee Rosenberg
Of course the future is a mystery. But the past? This is nuts!
Talk about ruin-your-day flights. I'm headed to Florida, when the elderly man seated next to me collapses on my tray table. I swear, if I'd known this was his final boarding call, I would have offered him my pretzels or my New York Times. But no, I was too busy feeling bloated, anxious,/em>/p>
Of course the future is a mystery. But the past? This is nuts!
Talk about ruin-your-day flights. I'm headed to Florida, when the elderly man seated next to me collapses on my tray table. I swear, if I'd known this was his final boarding call, I would have offered him my pretzels or my New York Times. But no, I was too busy feeling bloated, anxious, depressed, unloved, a failure, and did I mention bloated?
You'd be bummed too if you were almost thirty, living back home in Plainview, Long Island, with your at-war parents and loser siblings. If your acting career was such a bust your last film was an X-ray. If your boyfriend and your agent dumped you the same week, but great news! -- They're in love with each other.
Could things possibly get any worse? Do you even need to ask?That man on the flight? We were related. And my life story? Nothing like I thought. Oh, and then this fall in the shower? Opened up my psychic senses. Bottom line? I knew nothing about my real past, but suddenly my future was coming in loud and clear!
You've got to follow me on this amazing spiritual adventure that sent my life into a tailspin. I promise you love, laughter, oh-my-God secrets, and a ride to the "other side" you'll never forget. But lock the bathroom door. You're not coming out until you've heard it all.
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Read an Excerpt
"Will your grandfather be needing any special assistance?"
The gate agent asked as she waited for my boarding pass to print out.
"My grandfather?" I said. Frankly, it was a little late for special assistance, as both of them were dead. I assumed she must be speaking to the person behind me.
"Does he need a wheelchair? Extra time to board?" This time the woman looked right at me, and without glancing at her airline ID, I knew her name wasn't Patience.
Let me guess. She would walk off the job if she had to deal with one more skinny blonde in Prada who couldn't grasp a simple concept.
Normally this sort of profiling offended me. It was bad enough having just been felt up at the security check-in because my underwire bra set off the metal detector and I had to be ruled out as a terrorist threat. But to be typecast as a bimbo by a woman who clearly colored her own hair, that was just wrong. It reminded me of all the times Hollywood producers wrote me off because I was more Darryl Hannah than Julia Roberts, and they had like zero imagination.
"I'm sorry," I replied. "Are you talking to me?"
"Yes," she snapped. "That gentleman over there." She pointed to an elderly man who was dozing in a corner chair. "Aren't you two traveling together?"
"I don't know. Is he rich?"
"Ma'am, I have no idea ... Your seat assignment is next to his. I just assumed ... I thought I noticed a resemblance."
I studied the silver-haired geezer whose pant waist was up to his pupik. "Yeah, I can see the confusion," I laughed. "We're practically twins."
"Sorry," she sighed. "It's been crazy today, with the rain and cancellations."
"Although I'll be honest" -- I leaned in -- "I did request to sit next to a hot single guy. I guess next time I should be more specific about the age."
"Believe me, you'll be happy." She handed me a boarding card. "I almost put you next to that lady with the screaming twins."
I spotted the young mother whose infants were wailing as if their bottles had been seized by security. So the agent was right. I loved babies, but if I had to listen to those shrill cries all the way from New York to Miami, I just might open the emergency exit door at thirty thousand feet. Better to take my chances with Gramps. Maybe he had a hot single grandson for me.
Unfortunately, I never got to ask. He seemed anxious to chat, but right after takeoff, instead of doing the cordial thing, I napped. Then, when the plane reached a comfortable cruising altitude, I leafed through People magazine and became fixated on this picture of Penny Nichol at her fiftieth birthday bash. I was wondering, was it just me, or had the legendary film actress gotten a little porky around the ass, when suddenly the elderly man seated next to me, the stranger mistaken for my grandfather, started waving, and collapsed on my tray table.
Damn! Too late for a do-over. There would be no reversing his heart attack, nor my abject indifference to him. And I felt terrible. For had I known that his last few hours on earth might be spent on American's Flight 1165, I would have been much friendlier. Offered him my bag of pretzels, or any section he wanted of my New York Times.
Trouble was, it never dawned on me that this could be his final boarding call. Yes, he looked to be in his mid-eighties. But there weren't any signs that his health was failing. No note pinned to his checkered blazer that read, caution: this man is a ticking time bomb.
My first and only indication of distress was when he gasped, clutched his shirt, and fell on top of my magazine. Shame on me. It was only after I realized that his bifocals had fallen in my coffee and his hand was resting in my crotch that I screamed for help.
Please don't think I'm a snob or insensitive to strangers. I'm always chatting with people with whom my only bond is that we're bracing for a bikini wax or sitting in a casting agent's office, hoping the audition won't be another waste of highlights and lip treatments.
Nor as a rule am I unkind to the elderly. I'm not the one groaning in line at the supermarket when the old ladies fumble for exact change. And never do I honk at senior motorists, even when the old farts need as much time to make a left turn as I need to brush my teeth.
But as I watched the lead flight attendant try to revive the dying man's heart using one of those new portable defibrillators, I asked myself a God-fearing question. How could I, Claire Greene, Very Nice Girl, have completely ignored a member of my species?
The truth? I thought no one would ever know. It's not like undercover flight attendants walk through the aisles with little notepads. Unfriendly passenger in 8B. No interaction with seatmate, hogged the armrest, ripped several pages out of our magazines ...
There's more. I had counted on being able to use my time on board to indulge in self-pity, not humor some old guy who was thrilled to have a captive audience for three hours. First he'd expect me to kvell at pictures of his brilliant and beautiful grandchildren, who in all likelihood only called around the annual Festival of Checkbook. Next would come the stories of his remarkable feats in the stock market. Finally, he'd drop the name of the world-renowned surgeon who was honored to perform his triple bypass for free (although if it was actually true that he got a freebie, it might explain why he was lying unconscious in the aisle of a 757) ...Claire Voyant. Copyright © by Saralee Rosenberg. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Meet the Author
Saralee Rosenberg is the author of A Little Help from Above, Claire Voyant, and Fate and Ms. Fortune. She lives on Long Island (where else?) with her husband and three children.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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U jake its claire...y
This book was hilarious! You will not want to put it down until you've read the entire thing. I first discovered Saralee Rosenberg when I read her first ever novel, A Little Help from Above. Since then, I've read every one of her novels as soon as it came out, and she has yet to disappoint. Read this one and catch up on the others!
The back of the book tells you to lock yourself in the bathroom, because you're not coming out until you've heard it all. And truly, I wanted to lock myself in a room and keep reading the book until I finished the last page. Every situation Claire got herself into made me wonder what would happen next. You'll laugh with her, sigh with her, cringe with her, get frustrated with her, and then want to do it all over again. The author not only created a central character who was easy to identify with, but she created a backstory for each character in the book and makes you feel like you know every one of them personally. I'd recommend this book to any of my friends!
I've had this book since it came out and finally pulled it out to read on an international flight. It made my 8 hours of flying much more bearable with this funny, light and could-not-put-it-down kind of book. When I sit down to read, I want to be entertained, I don't want to have to think too hard and concentrate and try to keep things together and figure out who is who. This was a fun book to read. Everyone has someone in their family who is quirky and we saw this in Claire's family from her grandmother who got rid of her furniture, to her parents who held a secret for years, to her new family that she learned about and it was only because of a death of a passenger sitting next to Claire on the plane. Little did she know that the man who died in her lap was really her grandfather. AND, Claire is such a good liar, until she finally got caught far down the line. There were so many funny moments that everyone could relate to from the quirky family members to friends who beg you to be in their wedding only to wear a hideous dress. I also enjoyed the 'talks' Claire had with her grandfather who is on the other side. I know another book has been written, Fate and Ms. Fortune and I can not wait to read that book. Saralee is a very gifted and talented author.
I really enjoyed this book. You will do some major laughing, even get a little teary-eyed and then you'll laugh again. A girl-meets-boy tale with lots of unusual twists and turns along the way!! You will find a new friend in 'Claire' and you will be rooting for her all the way! Take the phone off the hook and enjoy!
I was first attracted to the book because of its catchy cover, and after reading the front and back cover, I knew I had to have it! I read Claire Voyant in 2 days because I just couldn't put it down. Saralee Rosenberg amazingly made an otherwise dramatic story into the most hilarious book I've read, even more so than the Shopaholic's series. While reading it, my husband mentioned that he's never seen me laugh so much with any other book, and I agree. Even though this book can be seen or is a chick lit , trust me when I say, ANYONE WHO LOVES A GOOD LAUGH WILL ENJOY THIS BOOK! The funny ideas/things the author comes up with are definitely things that everyone can relate to. Saralee Rosenberg is my new favorite author!
If you're looking for an inexpensive indulgence, well, this is it. Forget the spa, nail salon, etc. This book will have you laughing and crying and then laughing some more. A tale of girl-meets-boy with many unique twists and turns along the way. You will identify with Claire and find yourself thinking, 'You go, girl!' Treat yourself or your mother, sister, daughter or friend. Would make a great, very-welcomed gift.
After a less-than-stellar day I had run to the bookstore for sanctuary and took this book home. Before I knew it, it was 7 am - I had not been able to put it down! I had devoured it in one sitting.
It was delightful. One of those books you read on the airplane or train or bus, and suddenly let out a huge, semi-hysterical belly-laugh that makes all your fellow passengers frightened. Filled with the kind of delicious wit where you wish you had been the first one to say it just like that, because goodness knows you thought it. It had been like spending a day with your best girlfriend, talking about all the crazy things in your life, and feeling you were understood.
What I think impressed me most, was that about third of the way through I thought to myself: 'This book is on such a high upward arc, and the tension is building and the surprises are compiling, there is no way, I fear, for the author to A) sustain it, let alone B) keep it building even more.' So, I kept bracing myself for the moment when the book would fall flat and disappoint me (because let's face it, how many times has that happened in the movie theater or when reading a book).
Imagine my surprise and gratitude when the book only kept getting better, never let me down, and actually delivered on all its promises and on my high hopes for a brilliant read. Not at all a hackney'd audience-underestimating book like so many, but a literary, literate, intelligently written book with fully fleshed-out characters whose emotions and reactions were realistic even when embroiled in stranger-than-fiction circumstances. A book that provided enjoyment for the mind as well as spirit.
If you want a book that will brighten the darkest dumps and leave you in satisfied-reader heaven, this is the book.
I'm buying my best friend and mom each a copy and putting Saralee Rosenberg's name at the top of my must-read-the-moment-the-new-book-comes-out' list of authors.