Monday, October 15, 2012

When Lightening Strikes

One of the more recent books I read is Life as I Know It,  by Melanie Rose.  This had been on my wish list to read for more than a year so I was exceedingly pleased when it was chosen as one of the books my book club would do.  The funny part is that when I started it, I couldn't remember why I'd originally put it on my list because it was nothing like I thought it was going to be.  That's not to say that I didn't care for it, because I indeed liked it quite well.

Life as I Know It, is a story of how a 
lightening strike completely changes the life of Jessica Taylor.  One day she is innocently walking her dog in the park, gets caught in a storm after catching the eye of a good looking guy, and boom!  She wakes up in a hospital and people are telling her that her name is Lauren Richardson, wife and mother of four.  The only thing is, is that she still has all of Jessica's memories.

Jessica/Lauren struggles with trying to figure out what is happening to her and her life, yet she seems to take it in stride.  She begins to live Lauren's life, trying to understand who her new husband, Grant, is and comes even to love the children.  She feels horrible that their real mother obviously died at the exact same time that Jessica was hit with lightening, whose soul is now somehow inside of Jessica.   She throws herself into Lauren's life, buying pets and swing sets for the children,  trying to make the best out of a bad situation both for the children and for Grant.

When she is Jessica, though, she begins to develop a relationship with the man from the park, Dan.  She knows this life and this is her life, but is conflicted with feeling like she needs to help Lauren's family.  

What I really liked about this book is that Rose easily could have told a story about a girl with memory loss and living two lives simultaneously.  What she did instead was to bring to life a tale that brings ethics and morals into play.  She raises some amazing thought provoking questions to her readers throughout the book, that make the reader actually stop and contemplate how they might react in the same situations...or at least that's what she did to me.

The only thing I disliked about the story was that one of Lauren's sons was constantly being referred to as the "brain damaged" one.  Maybe there was a reason for it, but it seemed awfully insensitive to me, when there are so many other ways that the boys could have been described:  mentally challenged, learning impaired, etc.  I'm just sayin'.

Overall, I really liked this very non-traditional chick-lit book.  I probably ended up liking it more than I originally thought I would too and that rarely happens to me (it's usually the other way around).  Now that I've discovered Melanie Rose I'm really looking forward to reading more of her work.  She now has a new fan!

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