Sunday, June 23, 2013

Time Flies by Claire Cook

Once again, Claire Cook examines a woman's heart in Time Flies. Don't expect a lot of a action in a Claire
Cook novel. Instead, pick it up when you want a little laughter, some self-examination, friendship. Cook acknowledges women's fears, and pokes the balloon of fear as it grows larger and larger. And, there's an explosion of recognition when reading one of her books. Cook knows the way to a middle-aged reader's soul, whether it's music, family, or a road trip and shared secrets with a best friend.

Melanie had two young boys when she reluctantly followed her husband Kurt from home in Massachusetts to an Atlanta suburb. After too many years of marriage, Kurt left her for a "Chrissy". And, Melanie responds in typical Melanie fashion. "When my cell phone rang, I'd just finished cutting up my marriage mattress." As a metal sculptor, Melanie knew her way around tools. In fact, she took up welding as a rebellious gesture when they moved to Atlanta, and she found her artistic soul. Years of marriage to Kurt might have destroyed her confidence, but not her happiness with her art.

When Melanie's best friend B.J. calls, inviting her to the class reunion. Melanie is reluctant to head to Massachusetts. But, B.J. pushes her, telling her it's time to move on, to let the past go. When "You get to our place in're supposed to be able to relax and enjoy and do exactly what you want to do, when you want to do it. Where is our chance to be selfish again?"

In a novel filled with music of the seventies, and a time-warp for those of us in high school in those years, Cook takes Melanie home, to the place she thought of as home. But, she can't let go of her fears, and she keeps her phobia about driving on the highway from her best friend, even when B.J. is forced to disclose her own fear. But, somewhere on that highway might be the adventure of her life, if Melanie can just get there.

Kudos to Claire Cook for knowing a woman's heart, and the fear that sometimes resides there when forced to start over. Being alone isn't for sissies, and it often takes the women in our lives; friends, mothers, sisters, to help us through. Melanie knows that highway has possibilities, if she can just force herself to get out there. Or, as my mother told me, "The second half can be just as good as the first, different, but in it's own way, just as good." Time Flies is Claire Cook's acknowledgement that time moves on, and women need to do the same.

Claire Cook's website is

Time Flies by Claire Cook. Touchstone. 2013. ISBN 9781451673678 (hardcover), 303p.

FTC Full Disclosure - Library book


Beth Hoffman said...

I read the ARC of Claire's latest and thoroughly enjoyed it! I thought Melanie was a hoot and so real ... someone I would be friends with! I'm glad you enjoyed it too, Lesa.

Happy Sunday to you and the kitties!

Lesa said...

Happy Sunday, Beth! Claire's books are some of my favorite fun stories. And, Josh showed up to be featured in tomorrow's book chats. Makes it a fun Sunday. Hugs, my friend!

Ingrid King said...

I love Clair Cook's books and I'm looking forward to reading this one. Thanks for the great review, Lesa!

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Ingrid. I enjoy her books. She's a "must-read" author for me.