Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Under the Influence

Timing can be everything. One evening Helen, a completely devoted, doting mother rushes Ollie to the ER. But she had been drinking some wine. And after getting pulled over for a minor offense, her world and Ollie’s is turned upside down. The court, with an unforgiving judge takes Ollie away and gives full custody to her cold, manipulating ex-husband. After completing a successful program Helen has neither the strength nor the money to fight her ex-husband and begins to wallow deeper into her sorrow, missing Ollie terribly. One day she meets a couple who are beautiful, wealthy, philanthropic and kind. They take her under their wing and give her the confidence and means to begin changing her life. But their attentions are overwhelming and their needs manipulate her own. Helen becomes confused as to where the kindness ends and demands begin. It is as if she gave up one influence (alcohol) to another; Ava and Swift Havilland. This suspenseful novel kept me turning the pages quickly. As Joyce Maynard illustrates so easily the true human condition of needing and wanting love. I highly recommend this incredible summer read which completely took me away into the lives of these interesting, quirky characters. The writing is smooth as silk taking your feelings and imagination on a small rollercoaster ride.

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