Saturday, July 18, 2015
Losing Me by Sue Margolis
Barbara is a teacher, a very good one. She does special classes with the children who need a bit more help. Her job is who she is. (I've been there.) So what does she do when she's been made redundant and is let go? She's 58, who's going to hire her now?
Penguin Books sent me a copy of this for review (thank you). It's been published, so you can find a copy now at your local bookstore.
Barbara's two children are grown, her husband works out of town a lot, and she's never stayed home. She can help her mother a bit, give her house a good cleaning and get her hair done but what then? It doesn't help when her husband gets upset over the loss of her salary and tells her she needs to get another job. There really aren't very many jobs available and she's older. The odds don't look good.
As Barbara tries to find a new way in life, all she finds is confusion. This causes a panic attack. She thinks she's having a heart attack. She's spent her whole married life taking care of the kids, teaching, and taking care of Frank. When she asks him to cancel his journalist trip to Mexico for another story he says no, he's signed a contract. After he's gone, she begins to realize he's never been there for her. He's been gone most of their marriage on one journalistic quest after another. She's not sure she's wants to put up with that anymore. She also learns she has unresolved issues with her mother.
The thing that connected with me the most in this story is that everyone believes Barbara is strong. She is because she needs to be, not because she wants to be. They all don't mind inconveniencing her because she can handle it. She's having panic attacks because she can't do it all by herself. I've been there and felt that.
This is women's lit, which is type of book I don't normally read. This author makes her work realistic, with all the bumps and warts of life, and you grow to care about Barbara. Her work with children is touching. She hasn't solved all her problems, but she's on the way to something better. Who can ask for more?