Monday, September 17, 2007

Armchair Traveler Book Challenge, Entry 5

Today I polished off Laurie Notaro's There's a (Slight) Chance I Might Be Going to Hell.

Maye Roberts is moved to Oregon by her husband, Charlie, who gets a job teaching in a university there. They move to a small town and Maye finds it a challenge to make friends, not only in a new town, but in a place that seems as foreign to her as Mars.

I chose this book thinking it would be a fish out of water story, kind of like my own. There have been two occasions when I moved someplace and was totally out of my element: when I moved to Utah and when I moved to Arkansas. It was then I vowed I would never leave the East Coast of the US again.

Maye's story starts out similarly. She cannot meet people her own age and the people she does meet either don't like her, she embarrasses herself in front of them, or she gets into arguments with them.

Eventually, she decides to join the town's "beauty pagent", where she is guaranteed that if she wins, she'll be friends with everyone in the entire town.

This leads her down the path of a huge town cover up in a mystery from decades ago.

The book is full of little stereotypes of the Pacific Northwest--the town's residents go gaga for organic donuts and wait in line in their cars for hours on Styrofoam recycling day. The town is described well and picturesque sounding, but this was not a book I was madly in love with.

It really pains me, since I met the author earlier this year and she was probably the first author I thought, "Damn, I'd like to hang out with her!" She's so funny, personable, and down-to-earth. But sadly, to me, her books just don't show the awesome person she is! This book was clearly autobiographical, and as I was reading it, a lot of times I felt like I was reading her non-fiction stuff.

So I think this will be my last LN book. I've given it the ole college try with 4 or 5 of them now and every one just leaves me cold and wishing for something more, better, or different.

However, one more closer to finishing this challenge! I'll be sad to see it end. Next up will be the Anderson Cooper book, but I plan to work on the RIP II first.

0 pearl(s) of wisdom: