5 stars for In the Middle of Otherwise by @MEstorge #literaryfiction #bookish #bookreview
Title: In the Middle of Otherwise
Author: Marie Estorge
Genre: Literary Fiction
“In the Middle of Otherwise depicts a tale of people whose lives take dramatic turns for the worse. Marie Estorge unfolds their compelling stories of endurance and redemption in the face of daunting odds. The ending, both deft and clever, will make you happy you read this book.” – Paul De Lancey, author of Beneficial Murders and Following Good Food Around the World. Told over the course of one day and set in the suburbs of San Francisco, IN THE MIDDLE OF OTHERWISE, is a story of Brodie Marshall and his stalker, Jenny, whose lives collide one morning over a lost wallet.
Brodie Marshall has one day left to sell five life insurance policies and earn a desperately needed ten thousand dollar bonus. But Friday starts with a head-on collision with a tree during an early morning jog and the discovery that his Stanford-bound daughter has brought Gatorade spiked with vodka to school and forged his signature. Meanwhile, with her husband away on business, Jenny decides that today she will end her life. After suffering from the guilt and loss over a back-over accident where she fatally struck her son two years ago, she feels she has nothing in her life worth living for.
As Brodie and Jenny's stories weave together, the real stakes are revealed. This story layers complexity upon complexity, building to a sense of urgency and inevitability.
Jenny, overcome with grief over the accidental death of her toddler son, decides today is the day she’s going to kill herself. She has nothing to live for… or does she? When she meets insurance salesman Brodie, she wonders if the universe is telling her something. Can Jenny find meaning and purpose or will she carry out her own suicide?
In the Middle of Otherwise is a powerful piece of fiction. Told from two polar opposite POV’s over the course of one day, this story casts a new light on human frailty. From the first page, I was hooked. The character-driven plot moves at a nice easy pace with emotional narration. My heart went out to both Brodie and Jenny, for different reasons, of course. Marie Estorge has a gift for drawing the reader into the story and engaging the reader until the very last page. There’s a clear message of redemption here which I loved. The ending tugged at my heartstrings. If you’re looking for a story you won’t be able to stop reading, pick up In the Middle of Otherwise. Highly recommend!
My Rating: 5 stars
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Marie Estorge is a member of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Her essays have appeared in numerous publications, including the San Francisco Chronicle, East Bay Times, and Diablo Magazine. She has published two memoirs, Storkbites: A Memoir and Confessions of a Bi-Polar Mardi Gras Queen, under the name Marie Etienne. Marie lives in Northern California with her two sons. When Marie is not writing or performing accounting for clients, she enjoys springboard diving, reading, movies, and art.
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N