FROM RECLUSE TO “ZEN GODDESS” – AN AUTHOR’S ACCIDENTAL LIFE

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When aging novelist Amy Gallup has a freak accident in her backyard, only hours before a scheduled interview that she has almost forgotten, nothing could have prepared her for the subsequent fallout of her literal “fall.”

Almost immediately, we are struck by the theme of how accidents can have such unexpected consequences, but for Amy, her accident thrusts her into an ensuing period of renewed interest in her work, as well as to participation in a number of radio interviews and panel discussions throughout the country.

Up until then, Amy had been a recluse for years. And as we see her struggling against participating in the events that unfold, we are shown some of her backstory, including her marriage to her best friend Max and a subsequent marriage to someone she thinks of as “Bob,” complete with quotes; and the thought of whom makes her cringe to this day. We learn more about why as we keep turning those pages.

Amy is the kind of character I enjoy, for her eccentric charm, witty repartee, and even for her struggle to remain a private person. But it was also fun to watch her slowly coming into her own in this new age of social media and realizing that she could roll with those punches,too. One of the funniest events involved a panel discussion and a firestorm of tweets that bombarded her on that day, and on subsequent days on her blog.

What did Amy learn most about herself along the way? How did her new experiences change the way she viewed her future? And what did her basset hound Alphonse contribute to her new world?

A book that was funny and charming, and a little quirky, Amy Falls Down: A Novel kept my attention throughout most of it, but there were some moments in the middle when it didn’t quite grab me. But before I turned away from it entirely, I kept going and the story engaged me once again. Four stars.

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