Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Books That Answer Us Emotionally

My life is a mess right now.

My daughter and I have just bought a new home and we moved in a few days ago. The house is also undergoing some renovations so not everything is up to snuff. Like... there's nowhere to bathe. And the toilets don't work.

We live among unpacked boxes and a slightly shoddy paint job (we did our best but those ceilings are damned high) and there's chaos everywhere. Just everywhere. And I'm reading All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgans and I think she's saving my life.

Kristan Higgins writes first person, present tense stories from her heroine's point of view. The books she writes are (unfortunately) (a little bit) interchangeable.

Plot: Spunky, self-deprecating heroine who is a doormat for most of the people in her life has been wildly in love with Mr. Wrong for awhile. Mr. Right shows up but there's misunderstandings and clashes.

Spunky, self deprecating heroine has a funny, disfuntional family dynamic.

There's also a dog.

Sounds a little ... rote? Unoriginal? Yes and no and yes and no again.

Upon returning home that night, I tripped over an appendage, an all too common experience for me. "Noah," I called out, "if you don't start picking up your legs, I'm going to bludgeon you with one of them."

She makes me laugh. Her heroines are imperfect and even though they tend to be a little bit too doormat-ish for me (seriously, they fall in love with such selfish bastards) they do grow up some. And the heroes usually grow up some too.

But what Kristan Higgins writes is the equivalent of hot chocolate on a cold morning or mac and cheese after a difficult day. It isn't gourmet, it's comforting and familiar and welcomes you in.

While my home is in process and my life is in boxes, I read a book that makes me stop fretting and start smiling. I can breathe easier and my little gloom starts to lighten up.

Ms. Higgans is a good writer. Not innovative. She isn't solving world problems or recreating the wheel. She writes reader friendly books that are whipped cream and chocolate. I want to wrap myself into the comfort of the little world she creates.

Kristan Higgins is keeping me sane as my world is insane. Thank goodness. It's all I ever wanted.

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