Sunday, June 2, 2013
A Thousand Pardons by Jonathan Dee
This was an interesting story, though I found the end somewhat disappointing. At the centre is Helen Armstead, a wife and mother living in relative comfort in suburban New York City until her husband, apparently depressed although maybe just a jerk, has a weird affair with a young intern at his law firm, is beat up by her boyfriend, drives away drunk, and gets caught, sued, arrested and loses everything. Helen must strike out on her own, after more than 10 years out of the work force, in order to support herself and her daughter. Through somewhat contrived circumstances, she gets a job in a PR firm and apparently has a talent for crisis management. So she and her teenaged daughter move to a one bedroom apartment in the City. Seeing Helen cope with the working world that she's not really equipped for, as well as a resentful daughter, is interesting. The book takes a bit of a turn for the worse when she meets up with a childhood friend who is now a Hollywood movie star (and doesn't remember her). When he is in crisis he calls her and the last part of the books addresses how she manages his crisis, with the help of her ex-husband and daughter. That story seems a bit far fetched and is less interesting, but overall the book is not a bad read.