Tuesday, January 31, 2017

G804 Book Review of Unliving the Dream by Sandra Vischer

Name of Book: Un-living the Dream

Author: Sandra Vischer

ISBN: 798-0-9969310-0-7

Publisher: Trill reads

Type of book: Travel, British Virgin isles, Lima Peru, mother/daughter relationship, abortion, America, business, work, lack of privacy, divorce, reinventing self, self-help, volunteering, passion, raising, single parenting

Year it was published: 2016

Summary:

Things are darn near perfect for Alex Fisher: she runs a successful business with the love of her life, her husband and the father of her two great kids. She's managed to sail through nearly forty years without so much as a hiccup. That is, until the night her husband announces he would like to make a change-a change that has apparently been going on for months without Alex's knowledge. Yes, he has been having an affair with Alex's assistant. Suddenly Alex is bouncing through divorce, through her daughter's subsequent rebellion, and through the big questions of who she really is and what she wants in life. No longer living the dream, Alex uses her calm logic, internal dialogue, and sizzling wit-not to mention her friends-to turn the shock of a lifetime into an adventure of self-discovery that takes her from the tropical waters of the Caribbean Sea to the Utah wilderness and along the impoverished streets of Peru. In this universal tale, told through Vischer's unique voice, Alex finds that no one escapes unscathed-but we can all have a good laugh and some major personal growth along the way. A humorous, compassionate, and honest look at how the worst time in one's life ultimately leads to unexpected fulfillment and authenticity.

Characters:

Main characters include Alex Fisher who is supposed to "have it all" from perfect marriage to perfect job, family and so forth. I think because of the ball on the cover or some other reason, Alex struck me as a bit awkward and someone that can't help but stand out. She seems too good to be true. Her husband James is two-faced; showing good face to his family and bad face to his co-workers. Her daughter Lily, at first, is a troublemaker until a lot of drastic steps are taken to help her walk in a different path and her son is simply there.

Theme:

Its possible to reinvent self

Plot:

The story is in first person narrative from Alex's point of view. Although the reader spends all this time with Alex on her transformation to become a stronger woman after her dreams fell apart, I honestly feel as I don't know anything about her as a person. For me there is a disconnect between the main character and the reader. I also am curious as to the point why the point of view switched to Alex's daughter because its the first and last time in the book that the story went this way. If throughout the book the point of view switched between the two of them, I would understand, but its the only time point of view happened. Also as well the secondary characters didn't seem to be fully fleshed out in the story and when there are many, its a bit difficult in recalling who's who. I also have to be honest in saying that some parts of the daughter tend to ring false to my ears and a bit unbelievable. One part is the language that is used in a letter that's from Lily (daughter) which almost seems like an adult wrote it rather than a teenager, and the complete turn around.

Author Information:
(From back of the book)

When she's not writing from her suburban home in Portland Oregon, Sandy can be found hanging out with her close circle of girlfriends, taking a freighter to Croatia, jet skiing on the Mediterranean, but more probably, binge watching reality TV! A warm and witty woman, Sandra Vischer writes fiction that is funny and heartrending-just like real life

Opinion:

Just because the book doesn't click with me it doesn't mean that someone else might not enjoy it. On paper this sounded like a good story that I would enjoy about reinventing the self and growing through troublesome times. I also really liked the cover which has a ball slipping on a banana peel along with the focus on relationship between mother and daughter. Upon reading the book, I'm sorry to say that I didn't enjoy as much as I hoped. First of all I wasn't certain how much time has passed because the chapters don't have passage of years. I also felt as if I barely knew or understood Alex, which is odd because the whole book is from her point of view and it's about her growth and rejuvenation, yet if one is to ask me, I would know little about her. I would guess that more incidents about Alex with other people need to be included in order for me to understand her personality. There are also some incidences where I felt uncomfortable with the story: one instance is that the story has abortion, and another is I didn't feel comfortable with the way Alex tended to break rules in Peru when it came to students.

This was given to me by an agent

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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