A Body at Rest
by Susan Petrone

Drinian Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-9820609-1-9.
Reviewed by Becca Taylor
Posted on 04/17/2009

Fiction: Mainstream

I am addicted to all things Jane Austen, so when I saw a book that told a story about a woman who turned into Emma Woodhouse, and whose roommate becomes Don Quixote, I was compelled to read it. I had to see this twist of the literary genre.

The two main characters, Martha and Nina, have a mutual epiphany in which they realize they're both unfulfilled and headed in the wrong direction. Together they quit their jobs and embark on a life-changing road trip. Who hasn't butted heads up against a bad day (or bad year) and wished for new insight and perspective and new opportunities? I immediately related to both of the women, but particularly Martha. Having just returned from a girls' weekend, I was also struck by how well a close female friendship is portrayed in this novel. I definitely recommend the book if you enjoy Jane Austen explorations or fictional character cross-overs. However, what started out so promisingly moved too slowly and alternately chugged ahead too quickly. Coupled with repeated shifts in point of view that left me confused and having to backtrack a few pages, the story lost its steam. When I got to the story's ending, I was disappointed. By the end, I wondered what the point of the heroine's journey was.

Susan Petrone is a fiction writer, playwright, and freelance writer and editor living in Cleveland, OH. Learn more about her on her website.

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