Monday, June 17, 2013

review: time flies by claire cook

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Not long after her husband leaves her for another woman, Melanie’s best friend from high school reminds her of their upcoming high school reunion. B.J. is on the reunion committee and has big plans, including a makeover for Melanie. Melanie is very much against going to the reunion until an old flame (who she inexplicably doesn’t remember until she gets out the yearbook) says he wants to see her there. In the meantime, Melanie continues her life in Atlanta as a metal sculptor which is how she meets another possible love interest.

With repeated references to Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (a movie I loved) and Thelma & Louise, it was very clear what direction Claire Cook intended for Time Flies; however, Melanie and B.J. completely lacked the necessary camaraderie. The subplots involving Melanie’s family drama (both with her soon to be ex-husband and her semi-estranged sister) and that of other high school friends Jan and Veronica made the novel feel scattered. Furthermore, the incessant references to Tab and the music of their youth became annoying after a few chapters.

I think Melanie was supposed to invoke sympathy, but instead I kept thinking, “This is why your husband left you,” as she refused to adjust to life in Atlanta (given that she moved there when her now 20-something sons were six and seven, I would think she could stop whining about Southern food) and became completely neurotic anytime a vehicle with her in it (her fear of driving extended to being a passenger) approached a highway. As Melanie’s friend B.J. points out, nothing is keeping her in Atlanta. But Melanie seems to enjoy having something to complain about. If she moved back to the Massachusetts she’s idealized, she would have to admit she’s a miserable person.
Review copy provided by the publisher, Touchstone.

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