"Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather, and a little music played out of doors by somebody I do not know." - John Keats

"You're not allowed to say anything about books because they're books and books are, you know, God." - Nick Hornby

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Review #24: The Lost Husband, by Katherine Center

"Dear Libby,
It occurs to me that you and your two children have been living with your mother for - dear Lord! - two whole years, and I'm writing to see if you'd like to be rescued.
Your horrible aunt Jean"
Libby Moran, at odds with her widowhood, her mother, her living situation, and her life, packs herself and her two children in to the car and drives out of Houston and in to the waiting arms of her eccentric aunt Jean. She arrives on New Year's - a subtle nod to the start of a new life - and quickly, if reluctantly, settles in to life on Aunt Jean's goat farm. The town is painted as a commune of sorts, and has a complete cast of characters: the burly lawyer, the sweet church ladies, the former actress hiding out from real life, the mysterious and handsome ranch hand, and the goats, all of whom are named after strong women of history. All the marks of a good story are here - family secrets, grief, loss, love, hope, and a sexy, mysterious love interest.
I don't know how else to describe Libby's character other than to say she is achingly human. She loves her husband, and struggles with the anger she has with him for dying and the anger she has at herself for being angry. She loves her children, but doesn't quite know how to relate to them, and doesn't want to let get of their babyhood, because to do so would be to admit they are growing up, and if they grow up, they won't need her any longer. She questions every day whether she is doing the right thing. But with Aunt Jean's help, some drunken seances with the local feed store clerk, a night locked in the cheese refrigerator with the sexy farmhand, and some profound moments alone with the goats, she begins to learn to trust herself, and to realize that she is finally home.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this lovely, thoughtful, and beautifully written review!!