Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Life You Want

I don't remember how I found Emily Barr as an author.  Probably I pulled a book of the "new book" shelf at the library.  But I do remember that I loved her writing right away, and was struck by how she could tell a story in a way that seemed different from the way anyone else would tell it.  That's not much of a description, ,I know, but I came away thinking of her as one of those authors whose books I would seek out and read because I trusted her skill.

This past week, I read "The Life You Want" by Emily Barr.  First, isn't the cover beautiful?  I love the cover and the book it promises.  There is something so appealing about that pinky-sherbet color, and the flying birds, and of course the expressive posture of the woman.

Anyway.  I loved this.  It's the story of Tansy, a thirty-something wife and mother of two small kids stifling under the weight of her suburban mommy life in London.  She's pining for the life she and her husband once had, backpacking freely in third-world countries and loving their freedom.  Suddenly, she finds herself presented with the opportunity to travel to India, without husband and kids, to help out a friend in need.

It sounds somewhat predictable, doesn't it?  But that's the wonder of Emily Barr's talent.  It's not predictable at all.  Tansy's character is all too human (slipping wine into her teacup to hide her drinking in the afternoons, flirting dangerously with a handsome teacher), but she's real and funny and understandable.  When she finds herself in the middle of something she doesn't understand, she begins to question everything.  What she wants... what she had .. what she thought she wanted.

It's an engrossing novel.

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