The pain in Tess Dyer’s heart stems from a lifetime of rejection: by her distant mother, by a string of one-night stands, and by her husband, Jason. He promised to love her forever, yet here she is, divorced and shunned in her own town. She tries everything to dull the pain: sex, work, and endlessly cleaning the house. Finally, in a fit of despair, she abandons the small town of Brookfield, Maine, for an even smaller town, determined to start over with a clean slate. But she can’t run from the demons in her head, and she soon falls back on her old habits, this time with the help of her sexy new neighbor Brian. Though she tells herself he is just a warm body to dull the pain, his kindness has a soothing effect on her bruised heart. But the fear of losing his love is always there, and before long, Tess’s past threatens to destroy her fragile new happiness. Ultimately, she must make a choice: continue drifting through life, or confront the cruel realities of her past and start living. A dramatic departure from contemporary chick-lit, Waiting for Spring is a moving novel about a real woman struggling to find her place in the world.
Like, this is the review I wrote for “Waiting for Spring” and Matt was all “doesn’t say much about the book”
It took me too long to get around to reading “Waiting for Spring.” But, well, you see … I like RJ Keller on Facebook. She’s cool shit. And if I read her book and it was bad … then things would be awkward. Even if she didn’t know it.
Then the Queen City Author Event happened, and RJ raffled off this “Waitingfor Spring” gift basket. And the comments said that it was so perfect for the book. If you’d read it, you’d understand.
This book is not helping my review writer’s block. It’s left me torn as to what I should address first. Do I tell you that I’m not sure if this review will be as “funny” as my other reviews because the book is just too full of angst to warrant it? Beautiful angst, but angst none the less. Do I tell you that it was authentic to the experience of living in a small town in New England (even if there are minor differences between New Hampshire and Maine. Like the fact that I’m probably called a flat lander. Even if I do hate the fact that my town is now overrun by housing developments for people eager to escape “the city”)
Maybe I should start by mentioning how amazing it was that the characters were honest and authentic, and how refreshing it was to see people who were trying to soothe the hurts of a less than perfect life with various vices. Using too much work, sex, or drugs to fill the black and decaying parts of your soul.
Oh fuck it, I’ll start with basketball.
Normally, when I’m moved by a book I have to struggle not to message the author. As I’m reading. I’ve gotten better about only messaging the people who expect these things from me. Matt Larkin, Liz Long, Amber Lynn Natusch. But at 50% into “Waiting for Spring” I just couldn’t remain silent any longer.
That’s when RJ Keller wrote about how football was basically no big deal and basketball was where it was at.
Why was that so important to me in a book full of awesomeness and angst? Because in my home town we didn’t even have a football team. It was all about soccer. And as someone who never quite understood the appeal of the lights on Friday night it’s … refreshing. It made me feel more like this was my town. That this could’ve been my town. These could’ve been my friends.
Actually, I’m pretty sure Tess and Brian became my friends. And Rachel, Zeke, the Burkes, Dave, Kim, and even Jason. But mainly Tess and Brian. I hurt when they hurt. I bleed when they bleed. And when things went wrong I wanted to shake both of them and yell “God, don’t you see how lucky you are? How much you love each other?” Even though I knew that sometimes love just isn’t enough.
And that’s just the way life works. Real life. Not the fantasy you normally get in books.
I know this review kind of sounds like I didn’t love the book, but I did. I so did. Sure, it broke my heart, but when I gathered up the pieces and put them all back together (sometime in the dead of night, close to 2 am) it was if everything fit better than it had before. Like it was stronger. And I cannot thank RJ Keller enough for that.
An amazing book by an amazing woman. You really should give it a read.
ABOUT THE GUEST AUTHOR GINNY LURCOCK
I am so bad at these, that it causes me physical pain. No wait, that was a splinter… Never mind. Ginny Lurcock lives in New Hampshire with her husband whom she adores, her daughter, whom she also adores, and their cat. Who she likes alright. Oh, and her father, his two cats, her sister and her sister’s boyfriend. When not writing she enjoys playing games (of the board and video variety) or reading to the point of obsession (she’s not an addict, she can quit whenever she wants), watching intelligent television, mindless television, sports, movies and listening to music. Basically, she likes all the things. ALL.THE.THINGS And somehow she still manages to find the time to be bored.