This zingy novel is an empowering tonic for stay at home mothers the world over who married young, had kids, tended their family and put themselves last while trying to live up to everyone else’s expectations.
The centerpiece of Kick Start is the reaction of our heroine Linda to her husband Rick’s ‘trading up to a younger model’ and the subsequent disintegration of their outwardly picture perfect 18-year old marriage.
Her predicament is made even more stressful because the moralistic well-to-do society she lives in ‘simply didn't do divorce. So tasteless, so lower class.’
Dealing sensitively with the subject matter and with plenty of humour, this novel explores a mother’s efforts to reconfigure her way of being in the world after her husband’s betrayal evicts her from her comfort zone.
While romance is not my favourite genre, Kick Start drew me in with its lively writing, clever dialogue and artful use of local idiom. The well-drawn cast of characters came across as real people with Linda’s unconventional best friend Connie providing a sterling antidote to the former’s church going acquaintances.
This book boldly strays from the conventional romantic plot line where the heroine takes a dislike to the hero but over time allows herself to be seduced and subsequently falls for him.
The attractive younger man Linda runs into when she goes back to college to shore up her financial future is also in the process of reinventing himself after his own career prospects have been hijacked.
Will they get together and if so, will it last or is it just a fling on his part? The opposite of Linda’s husband on so many counts, ex-Navy Jack was sufficiently appealing that for a while I suspected he was keeping an almighty flaw under wraps that would shatter their slow burning relationship.
As the novel progressed, the question was whether they could surmount their age difference and Linda's concerns about what was best for her children. And without giving the plot away, was her stifling marriage really over?
While this book will have special appeal for women going through divorce, its life lessons are universal. At its heart, Kick Start reminds the reader that life is by no means over when closing in on 40. And that it’s never too late to act on the premise that you only get one go at life. As Linda explains, ‘Heaven knows everything in my life needed a kick start. But it wasn't going to happen unless I made it happen.’
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)