Published by Washington Square Press on July 1, 2014
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When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they come up with an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes.
Lauren embarks on a journey of self-discovery, quickly finding that her friends and family have their own ideas about the meaning of marriage. These influences, as well as her own healing process and the challenges of living apart from Ryan, begin to change Lauren’s ideas about monogamy and marriage. She starts to question: When you can have romance without loyalty and commitment without marriage, when love and lust are no longer tied together, what do you value? What are you willing to fight for?
What do you do when you’re not in love any more? After I Do fast forwards through the happy bits, and hits play for when it all falls apart. As with all TJR, this has the smack of wit, insight, and realism of relationships, but it comes off more as a character study than a fully formed story. Lauren’s introspection of what went wrong is interesting – and frustrating because it leads to inaction. Her problems with Ryan are surely fixable with a little effort and communication. We’re in ok territory with this book, but none of the magic of Maybe in Another Life or One True Loves.
*****Roar by Cecelia Ahern
Published by Grand Central Publishing on April 16, 2019
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From the bestselling author of P.S., I Love You, a fiercely feminist story collection that illuminates--sometimes in fantastical ways--how women of all kinds navigate the world today.
In this singular and imaginative story collection, Cecelia Ahern explores the endless ways in which women blaze through adversity with wit, resourcefulness, and compassion. Ahern takes the familiar aspects of women's lives--the routines, the embarrassments, the desires--and elevates these moments to the outlandish and hilarious with her astute blend of magical realism and social insight.
One woman is tortured by sinister bite marks that appear on her skin; another is swallowed up by the floor during a mortifying presentation; yet another resolves to return and exchange her boring husband at the store where she originally acquired him. The women at the center of this curious universe learn that their reality is shaped not only by how others perceive them, but also how they perceive the power within themselves.
By turns sly, whimsical, and affecting, these thirty short stories are a dynamic examination of what it means to be a woman in this very moment. Like women themselves, each story can stand alone; yet together, they have a combined power to shift consciousness, inspire others, and create a multi-voiced ROAR that will not be ignored.
I often have issues with anthologies that center around the same subject. Despite Roar being about something I care a whole lot about and being written by an author who created one of my favorite things ever, this book was no exception to my experience with similar collections that came before. These stories only skim the surface, and fail to go deeper into a place of profound observation or intrigue. For any feminist – nay, any woman who is moderately aware of her surroundings or the niggling reminders of her place in society – this anthology falls flat by not adding anything new to the narrative and thus becomes repetitive and droll. Ladies, we can do better.