Do you need a hug? Is your pint of B&J’s bringing you closer to rock bottom rather than giving you loving comfort? Don’t cry in your Chunky Monkey. This is the perfect book to chase the blues away. Grace Unexpected by Gale Martin might just be one of the most smart and funniest books I’ve read in sometime. It’s chock-a-block with lighthearted wit that warm the cockles of your heart and maybe even leave you tittering out loud and claiming early incontinence.
Grace Savage is a woman contemplating the frivolity of many years as a free spirit and slave to her hedonistic urges when faced with the reality that her chase for the elusive twinkling band of future happiness with a real life hero is nowhere in sight. While during visit to a Shaker Village in New Hampshire she scoffling shuns the chaste and virtuous life of the strict religious sect and smart mouths a photo of a dower Shaker woman who Grace believes is sourpussed and unimaginatively repressed. But then as her toilet begins to rattle as her boyfriend of two years cans her through the barrier of her shower curtain and the infernal sound won’t cease hours later she knows that she has karmically brought the anger of the Shaker ancestors down upon her head. Grace is facing a deserved and unavoidable Shaker curse, a sure sign that she must give up her fancy-free ways, earthly indulgences and settle her ever hungry libido to find what she has longed for for so long–The One.
From that point Grace’s life really becomes the ultimate entertainment. She is the consummate comedian even while steeped in stress, anger and heartbreak. Her world is a constant story of feast or famine and she juggles work, romance, family, Shaker curses and ‘The Plan’ with the finesse of a woman hanging on by her last string. I couldn’t tell you how many times she brought me to tears with her antics and one liners. I would definitely want her on speed dial and in my corner because this is the type of person who would be all thumbs up through natural disasters.
“You’re dressed like a bombshell so that when True makes a pass at you, you can shut him down and further torture yourself.”
“What are you talking about?” I pulled a pen out of my desk organizer and scrounged around the desktop for a notepad. “He’s probably a registered Republican who hates cats and doesn’t like the Beatles. And doesn’t want children, uses dating services, and doesn’t like zucchini, the most versatile vegetable known to mankind.”
Goody pumped his fist over his heart twice and made a peace sign. “Be true to your vegetable.”
I can’t give away much more of the story because Gale Martin’s handling of the love interests is so sharply done that it isn’t until the last few pages that it is resolved what she chooses. And honestly, I spent most of the book going back and forth between Addison and True trying to guess which Gale was setting up for the Happily Ever After. All signs pointed one direction but she would then masterly deflect to the point that would then make me question myself until I began to then realise that I had been wrong and that all signs pointed clearly in the other. Often leaving me wishing Grace would end up with her gay best buddy Goody, since he seemed the lesser of all demons involved. (Just so you know this is a love triangle and Goody was never really an option, although to be fair, he was often the one with whom Grace had the least complicated and natural relationship. The best ones are always taken or gay!)
This is a book I highly recommend, and as a matter of fact, I’ve already been sending out Goodreads recommendations and emails to friends. It’s a book that makes you feel good and everyone needs one of those. It’s cheap on Amazon and easily consumed… like zucchini, the most versatile vegetable known to mankind.
Gale Martin is an author featured in the indie author project Weekly Indie Word Slinger.
–Gale, just so you can tell Grace’s mother… Married women are more likely to kill their spouses than single women. Not all the disturbing statistics fall on the side of single women. =)
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