TheNextNovel, Ontario, Canada, 2005. ISBN 0373880545.
Reviewed by Paula Stallings Yost
Posted on 01/23/2002
Jennifer Archer has survived maneuvering through life in seven states, raising two teenaged boys and, this year, her very first hot flash—all without serious medication. Her other works include Heat Wave, Body & Soul, and Shocking Behavior. Coming in October...The Me I Used to Be. For more information, visit the author's website at www.jenniferarcher.net.
If you're a female between the ages of 15 and 90, don't be surprised to find yourself or at least a part thereof within the pages of this delightful, tell-it-like-it-is novel. True to its title, Sandwiched defines the struggles of middle-aged divorcee Cecelia "CiCi" Dupree, her coming-of-age daughter Erin, and recently widowed mother Belle Lamont, as the three women share space, spirit and spastic lifestyle changes. The author cleverly captures the souls of these women through communication modes unique to each one's era and style.
CiCi's dilemma is revealed through her daily day-planner entries... "1. Check paper for Max's ad (offering stud service for a fee by her dog, who apparently could use a healthy dose of Viagra); 2. 1:00pm—Mom's Parkview Reading Group; 3. Decline blind date with Mrs. Stein's second cousin's great-nephew; 4. Buy new bedspread to match purple walls; 5. Unground Erin."
Erin finds freedom of expression through e-mail as demonstrated in her message to a friend about a clandestine, late-night visit from a boy..."Hang up your phone! I've been trying to call you! I'm hyperventilating! He's coming over! Right Now! ...call me on my cellphone at midnight in case I need an escape."
Belle pours out her heart in love letters to her dead husband... "Dear Harry... guess who Cecilia caught sneaking in after 2:00a.m. on that night Erin went to the nightclub? Me. Unfortunately, my body isn't up to climbing in and out of windows these days, so I came through the front door... I'm still in a quandary about what to do about Erin's secret. Though I don't approve of her method of breaking away, I understand. Erin's ready to fly, but CiCi's determined to clip her wings."
The book is a hilarious fictional ride through today's reality for so many women. Alternately giggling and weeping along the way, the reader will recognize the drama of adolescence, the challenges of middle age, and the wisdom of our elders within its pages. Archer is a gifted guide.
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