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Amy Peterson became a stepmother in 1994 when she married a man who had four kids, an old VW Rabbit and a boat load of fishing tackle. Unable to find other true, uplifting stories about becoming a stepmother, Amy used her casual, entertaining writing style to tell her amusing but heartwarming story in From Zero to Four Kids in Thirty Seconds. The conflicts she faces (and avoids) are universal to all stepmothers, and the conflicts with her beau are amusing universal struggles between the sexes. Amy’s goal was to write a story that would have universal appeal to women, while being particularly helpful for women contemplating becoming stepmothers.
At the same time Amy was muddling through the world of stepmother hood she was also faced with one pet after another that her husband kept bringing home. The first hedgehog was joined by a second hedgehog and the baby hedgehogs came 28 days later. One ferret soon got three ferret pals to play with. The first puppy had too much energy, so along came another dog. And so it goes in Amy's second memoir, Something Furry Underfoot, a humorous, touching memoir about raising and falling for a whole array of pets. It includes 50 tips, most of which are about pets, some of which are about the spouses that love pets. This fun, entertaining read will help pet owners and potential pet owners make better decisions about their pets.
Amy has been published in numerous magazines and does weekly blog postings on her web site, amylpeterson.com, about nature, pets and life. Like her books, most of her blog postings are light-hearted if not also sometimes information. Amy works for the state of Michigan and lives with her husband and a variety of fuzzy animals.
on Feb. 12, 2012 :
I came across this book online; it sounded intriguing--and fun, so I got it. I enjoyed it from Amy and Mark's first meeting in the workplace when he rejects her proposal (for a study grant), their tentative attempts at getting to know each other and date--despite her understandable reluctance to get involved with a man with four children. She gives us the background too on why--though they worked there for five years--they never connected. (He was married; now he's divorced.) He persists, and together they overcome a variety of challenges. This story illustrates those challenges--her family, his children, the ex-wife, and the usual speed bumps, but Amy makes meeting them a fun read, while at the same time not being afraid to expose her conflicting feelings along the way. See Tip #11: "If your first meeting with the kids doesn't go well, rest assured that it won't be the last thing that won't go well." And that was why I wanted the book--for the funny takes on her life--reminding me of Erma Bombeck--and for what happened along the way and how they survived the challenges and succeeded. This is a romantic story, btw, and I sympathized with both of them as they felt their way along the path to marriage and beyond.
The tips for step-parents are helpful and funny. #1 sets the stage: "Behind every successful stepmother is a man with at least one child." There are 70 tips; #70 introduces the epilogue: "You won't be able to predict what the kids remember, or what they'll like the most. So try to enjoy it all." I believe she and her new family did enjoy it; and I enjoyed their story. Highly recommended.
Note: I read the paperback edition, which I received directly from the author.
(reviewed the day of purchase)