All Change Please by Danielle West

all change please

 

This is only a preliminary review of this book – because I couldn’t wait any longer to recommend this title. The Book Hub has given this to me to review and I am ever so grateful.

The book begins after the death of a 27-year-old. Mysteriously, because the author doesn’t focus so much on how Laura died. Instead the focus are on her 3 close friends who survive her.

These women, Ophelia, Kat and Elise, have differing reactions to the death of their friend. Their reactions coincide though with the recognition that Laura had so much more to give and do. The helplessness of all three of these friends is accentuated by the loss of Laura.

Ophelia has so far been made “redundant” – or as we in America would say – laid off. She spent some time after Laura’s death not particularly interested in her work, questioning why she had this job she didn’t like and wondering if Laura thought her life was good before she died. Ophelia thinks her life is shallow and she only exists to pay rent and barely survive. All of the energy and excitement she felt as a college student has been sapped by the need to just stay afloat.  She now questions everything in her life and even everything that is gone – like her relationships that never worked out because she chose selfish men with whom to be involved.

Kat fell apart. She cried so much she couldn’t make it through a day at work. Her husband Ian, seemed helpful in the first part of the book – at the funeral and during the days before and after. It is not until the middle of the book that Kat realizes what the reader has known from the beginning. Ian is a selfish prick who allows his wife to support him while he chases the dream of being a playwright. Instead of chasing his dream, he is more interested in playing video games and will even tell Kat, newly home from work, that she must leave him alone so he can finish this one level or the other. Really.

Elise also falls apart but she has no imitation support system as does Kat. Elise is very much alone. Her parents don’t spend any time thinking about her since she has decided to be an artist rather than a lawyer or the wife of a lawyer with children. Elise sinks into abysmal depression until Kat and Ophelia come to rescue her. She then gets another huge spurt of creativity and begins to plan for an exhibition of her work. The description of her work in this book makes me want to go grab some Krazy Glue and get busy.

I have more to go in this book and I will review it in total when I am finished. I just wanted to recommend this to you now because I think Danielle West is the best writer I have read in a long time.

You will know from one of my previous posts, either on A Little Fluff or Couture Lunacy – that I read old mysteries over and over. I read police procedurals and old 1930s mysteries and I have an atmosphere of comfort in re-reading many titles. I don’t usually like current fiction and particularly not non-mystery fiction. But this book – oh my. You’re in for a treat – and for some soul-searching too – Following these women through their changes, I am inspired to create my own. For too long I have sublimated my needs to others. Not a bad life – just one that could be better.

I plump for better.

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