"This is a MUST Read! Written by a masterful storyteller!"
A tut-tutting, big-breasted, modern-day gorgon; a humourless schoolmarm with an unfortunate name and freakishly long, yellow incisors (yeesh)—these are the kinds of people Ruth Roth regularly encounters. Add in daily dealings with an acerbic mother who squawks like a harpy, a father with a dodgy moral compass and a God complex, a bitchy mirror, and Ruth’s existence feels like a Greek tragicomedy.
The idiocy of daily life makes sense to Ruth when she develops a fascination with ancient mythology. She learns that the deviant gods and spectacular monsters of bygone myths are alive and well in the backwoods of our psyche; that there’s always one who escapes suppression and can have the whip hand in our lives. Ruth’s is one of the most unwelcome societal presences—the goddess of obscenity. And talk about ugly!
Ruth can relate to this immortal. Not in looks; Ruth is quite comely. But she feels unwelcome in her own family (she gatecrashed her mother’s womb only two months after her brother vacated it). Despite being labelled the ‘black sheep’, or maybe because of it, Ruth takes on her nemeses, bravely and brazenly (her dirty goddess doesn’t give a rat’s about social niceties). But our heroine is war-weary. And the yearning to fit in somewhere—anywhere—eventually undoes her. We must look on helplessly as Ruth loses her soul.
She wants it back, though!
Just as well the mad characters in her mind and experiences won’t quit. Just as well Ruth never loses her wry wit. And where her nearest and dearest attempt to keep her shrunken into a wholesome package of conformity, Ruth’s two closest girlfriends simply won’t allow it. And then there’s Ralph Brill.
Ruth’s hot-looking, eccentric cousin and best friend, Ralph is her staunchest ally. Also a misfit in his family, he has his share of problems including a st-t-t-tuttering brutish father, and an obsessive-compulsive personality disorder—Ralph needs to do everything twice, twice.
Ruth relies on his repeated encouragement and the support of her girlfriends as she embarks on an odyssey. A good homoeopathic dose of ancient mythology helps her find her way back through the sludgy shame and irrational fears choking her spirit. Then just when all seems well, Ruth faces an apocalypse …
“Paula Houseman’s keen understanding of the ancient, universal forces at work in the very roots of humanity, and magnificently bawdy humor make Odyssey in a Teacup an epically defiant, bold, painful, hilarious, soul-fortifying must-read for anyone who has ever dared (or hoped) to look at themselves in the mirror and ask the question, How in the hell have I survived?
—Stephanie L Harper, author
|File size:||2 MB|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Paula Houseman thought her life was, well ... meh. Until she started fiction writing. Memories flooded back and she realised her existence had not been mundane at all. It had been bloody ridiculous! Her university studies helped her see what was hidden behind the absurdity, and to understand that at the core of everything we read and circulate, there is a wealth of ancient, uncut stories that echo from the backwoods of our individual and collective psyches. While digging around in these myths, Paula unearthed her muse—the butt-ugly, potty-mouthed goddess of obscenity; she who embodies a holy kind of dirty and who got her into a lot of shit when she was a kid! This muse reminded her of the value of laughter and is responsible for the bawdiness in her books, Readers Favorite Award winner, coming-of-age chick lit, Odyssey in a Teacup, and Books 2 & 3 in the Ruth Roth Series, romantic comedies, Cupid F*cks Up (previously known as Apoca[hot]lips) and My Troyboy is a Twat.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite Odyssey in a Teacup: Ruth Roth Series Book One by Paula Houseman takes us on a journey of self discovery through the eyes of a young Jewish Australian girl, Ruth Roth, who along with her three best friends - Vette, Maxi and her cousin Ralph - all try to find their place in a society that doesn’t seem to accept them for who they are. Reminded from an early age by her domineering and sharp-tongued mother Sylvie that she was a “mistake” and a “bad mistake” at that, Ruth wants to allow her natural tendencies to rebel to flourish, but she feels unwanted and her spirit is crushed by the lack of her mother’s acceptance. We follow Ruth and her friends from their innocent youth and childish games through to her approaching middle age, all the time with Ruth searching for the true purpose of her life and her place in this world. Told in part as a series of reminiscences of disasters and bad decisions in all of their lives, Ruth slowly becomes aware that her spirit has been stolen from her and in order to rise above all the dysfunction, she needs to reclaim the free spirit that belongs to her. This story is a mixture of humorous anecdotes that tie together with Ruth and her friends' anxieties, flaws, and self-perceptions. The use of Greek mythology and the duplicitous nature of the gods and their questionable characters and morals is a perfect analogy in describing the foibles and eccentricities that beset this fascinating group of friends. Paula Houseman has given us a plethora of readily identifiable characters from our own lives to hate, to love, and to groan and empathize with in Odyssey in a Teacup. Written with that underlying self-deprecating Jewish humour that we have come to love so much, this story has some truly inspired and genuinely funny moments that had me constantly chuckling to myself, as I was able to identify with it. Writing genuinely funny tragi-comedy is not an easy thing and certainly Houseman is to be commended and admired for her efforts here. For all of us who have suffered periods of self-doubt, this story will help to remind you that we are all unique individuals and it is our diversity, not our homogeneity, that makes us special as a species. This was a cracking good read and I look forward to reading the continuing adventures of Ruth Roth soon.