Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Life's a Beach: Brain Popcorn

On the coffee table in my mother's family room sat a pile of audiobooks her church thrift store had given away. My mom had taken them home because she knows I listen to audiobooks during my long commutes to work.  "Which ones do you want?" she asked. I rifled through.

Let me say here I am a literary snob; if I am going to spend time reading or listening to books, I want them to be excellent. None of the audiobooks my mom showed me were. I did end up taking Claire Cook's Life's a Beach for two reasons. First, I felt I had to take something so as not to disappoint my mom. Second, since the audiobook had been produced by BBC Audio, I figured it couldn't be all bad despite its dopey title. If the sign of a good novel is that the reader wants to turn the page, or in this case, pop in another CD, this novel is not so bad.

Granted, Claire Cook is no Alice McDermott but I have to say I kept listening because I wanted to know what would happen to Ginny Walsh, the 41-year-old never-married protagonist of this light read by Cook, who markets herself as a "reinvention expert."

I finished the book yesterday afternoon during my drive from work to the gym. The ending did not  satisfy. Ginny Walsh "finds herself" in the quotidian way we are accustomed to hearing about on shows like Dr. Oz or Oprah. Then again, a book like this is popcorn for my brain. Not particularly bad for me, and temporarily filling.

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