Thursday, January 31, 2013

Here I Go Again by Jen Lancaster

Here I Go Again. Jen Lancaster. Penguin Group (USA). January 2013. 320 pp. hbk. ISBN#: 9780451236722.

Lissy Ryder, the gal who had it all, is within a few days shorn of all her glorious toys and relationships. A graduate of a Chicago high school, she came from money, married money, and knew all the right people. Now, she’s just discovered that her mega-buck membership to a gym where only successful, notable people work out is canceled, her credit card is capped, her husband wants a divorce and no one has any sympathy for her at all.  Why? Quite simply, she’s a notorious –itch; place whatever negative prefix on the word fits best!!!

When you have nothing and have no skills to go anywhere with, in spite of thinking she’s the best PR person in town, what does a girl do?  Fortunately, she has an acquaintance who rescues her in the form of a magical formula drink that enables her to return to the past, a Back to the Future scenario in which she hopes to redo the past.  But is it possible for someone, who has insulted or wounded almost everyone she knew who was decent or who knew only other successful people who have no time for losers, to do it all over and recreate a new future?  Lissy is desperate and has nothing to lose, so she decides to give it a whirl!

But changing the past doesn’t promise precise consequences as Lissy discovers.  In her journey that is so funny, albeit silly at times, and yet so sad, Lissy sets about with purpose but learns more about herself than she does anyone else.  It’s a thin line between humorous retort and just plain nastiness.  The balance is just right, even if the end seems rather contrived and stretches credibility quite a bit!

In our day where so much importance is put on money, material possessions, reputation and connections, Here I Go Again, is light satire with a potent message that doesn’t get lost in the magical journey of “green wheat juice!”  Cute story!

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