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on Dec. 30, 2012 :
Elise Marquette, archeologist/anthropologist, with a passion for human bones, is stuck in a "go nowhere" job doing archeological assessments for oil companies and the military. Her days are spent mired in conflict with workmates, bureaucrats safety managers and the myriad of regulations that kill productivity in twenty-first century industry and degrades the quality of life itself. Elise's dysfunctional family rates twelve on a scale of ten and she has resigned herself to a life of lonely celibacy—and then there's that comfort food thing. It looks like Elise will being spending all of her days trudging around with the mosquitoes under the blazing sun on the prairies and through the muskegs of western Canada, forever, wearing a day glow vest, hardhat and steel toed boots while lugging a ream of safety forms. Then she spends a single afternoon in Galway with an Irish archeologist named Gavin.
This is not a romance. I don't read romance. It is frankly a memoir, fictionalized I presume, and I surprised myself by becoming engrossed so early in the story, but then again, it has many things I like: archeology, wit, government bashing, and bears. Memoirs are by definition a first person narrative and it is the strength of Elise's character that makes this book irresistible. She is a cynical, foulmouthed, girl-next-door that the reader, of either gender, simply wants to get to know. For those who have tried to do business in the brave new world of over-regulation, Elise is a kindred spirit. For those who haven't had the pleasure, this is an insight into the absurdity of modern society. Everyone will relate to her trials with co-workers and family. It's a quirky story that's well worth the price of admission.
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)
on April 10, 2012 :
I liked the book as a whole. It was slow and boring at times. I am glad I kept reading. I really enjoyed the character's personal problems with her family and how she finally handled that. I was intrigued with her struggle with her professional and social problems and how she finally comes to grips with those as well, realizing that in persuit of ones happiness, one must a decision to change.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)