Hoorah for summer reading! As we hit another week of 100+ I’m so glad to have a stack of summer reading – something cool to read in this heat! This week I really enjoyed Claire Cook’s latest book, “Seven Year Switch”.
In this story we meet single mom Jill Murray and her 10 year old daughter Anastasia. Seven years ago Jill’s husband Seth abandoned them, leaving them financially destitute and Jill has been struggling ever since to take care of her daughter and to make ends meet. Jill teaches “lunch around the world” at the community center and works from home as a telephone operator for her friend’s travel service. “Great Girlfriend Getaways”- Feisty and fabulous man-free escapes both close to home and all over the world. When was the last time you got together with your girlfriends?” Jill greets callers while she does the laundry, cooks dinner for Anastasia, drills her on her spelling lesson, and wonders if and when her husband will reappear.
Somehow Jill has figured out how to survive…and it hasn’t been easy. Jill has done what we all hope we could do – provide a home for her daughter who by all accounts is thriving. Jill is there every day – day in and day out taking care of all the little things (including rushing to school mid day to bring the forgotten plastic cow for the diorama). Cook masterfully creates dialog that hold the reader’s attention throughout.
Of course, just as it seems Jill has gotten to a place where she is holding her own, Seth walks back into their lives. In the end, his return is perhaps the best thing that could have happened. Seth isn’t the shinning knight on white steed arriving to save the damsels in distress, but he does make Jill realize she isn’t just holding her own, she is stuck.
Typical of Cook the book is filled with a great cast of characters. I myself loved the perfectly made up neighbor with the endless supply of chic new Barbie doll like tennis outfits (Cook must have spent a few days at my local PTA meetings – I had to before I realized some people really DO dress like that every day).
Reading Seven Year Switch makes the reader examine just how far should we go for those who depend on us, and how much of ourselves we should sacrifice in the process.
abc.com provided a review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
What are you reading and where are you going?