Pressed Pennies: A Novel. Steven Manchester. The Story Plant. May 2014. 355 pp. ISBN#: 9781611881356.
One morning Rick wakes up and realizes just how miserable he really is. He’s got everything but nothing, good job, plenty of money, the best home and summer home, and a wife who doesn’t have the time of day for him. Her only comment when he tries to discuss their growing separation is to tell him to quit moaning and grow up, facing the reality that hard work is the foundation of their grand lifestyle. That just about finishes it for Rick who decides to divorce his wife; but that even reinforces his emptiness and the shallowness of his connection to those outside of his lavish, opulent circle. Yes it seems change needs to happen and soon!
Abby has also gotten divorced from her ever-drinking husband but the pain of his presence or lack of presence is gradually tearing their daughter Paige apart. Thank goodness that Abby and Paige, however, have a strong bond that hopefully nothing can break apart. For Paige is hurting in ways that Abby can only heal with her maternally deep, deep love.
Abby moves and meets Rick and the rest of the story is about their memories, their increasing love for each other, and a conflict they never imagined could happen. Does the future hold a life together or are they forever doomed to loneliness and lack of focus with the rest of humanity.
Steven Manchester has written another best seller – it’s got just the right amount of passion and romance – lovely and awesome! But it’s also got just the right amount of very real conflict that is a huge obstacle to the dreams and desires of Rick and Abby, without being over the top or excessively melodramatic. It’s a story that could happen and probably does in any small town or big city home and that makes this novel all the more tender and special. You continue to dazzle readers with your sensitive and graceful writing – don’t stop, Steven Manchester!!!! Gutsy and beautiful novel!!!