In her own words, Stella Sweeney is just "an ordinary woman living an ordinary life with her husband and two teenage kids," working for her sister in their neighborhood beauty salon. Until one day she is struck by a serious illness, landing her in the hospital for months.
After recovering, Stella finds out that her neurologist, Dr. Mannix Taylor, has compiled and self-published a memoir about her illness. Her discovery comes when she spots a photo of the finished copy in an American tabloid--and it's in the hands of the vice president's wife As her relationship with Dr. Taylor gets more complicated, Stella struggles to figure out who she was before her illness, who she is now, and who she wants to be while relocating to New York City to pursue a career as a newly minted self-help memoirist.
Funny, fast-paced, and honest, Keyes's latest novel is full of her trademark charm and wisdom and is sure to delight her many fans.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-07-06
- Reviewer: Staff
Keyes (The Mystery of Mercy Close) infuses her trademark levity into her latest novel, an honest examination of how dynamics change when one is struck with a life-threatening disease. Irish beautician Stella Sweeney is leading an unremarkable life with her husband and children when she is stricken by Guillain-Barré Syndrome. Immediately, the disease renders her locked into her body—able to think, see, and hear, but only able to communicate via blinking. After her marriage breaks up, the only bright spots in her days are visits from her neurologist, Mannix Taylor, with whom she forms a reluctant alliance. After she recovers, Stella discovers that Mannix has compiled all of the messages she blinked into book form, and she is thrust into the spotlight as a self-help author while also trying to adjust to an unexpected yet much appreciated romance. Keyes meanders a bit with the story, which toggles between the present day and Stella's illness in the past, introducing plot points that might resonate better—and be better understood—once readers have gotten to know the flawed yet engaging main character and the solid lineup of supporting characters. Still, Keyes manages to bring a lightness and humor to a weighty topic. (July)