Reviewer: Amy Lignor
Title: As Young as We Feel - 1st in the Four Lindas series
Author: Melody Carlson
Publisher: David Cook
Release Date: September 2009
Genre/Sub-genre: Women's Inspirational Fiction
Year/Setting: Present day, Clifden Oregon
Overall Rating: 3.0
Sexual Content Rating: None/Subtle
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None
Violent Content Rating: None
Melody's Website: www.melodycarlson.com
I am a big fan of Melody Carlson’s young adult books as well as some of her adult fiction. She always seems to have this way of hitting the nail on the head in any situation. This story, about four completely different females who went to high school together, is no exception
They were called the four Linda’s. It was remarkable that in a small town on the Oregon Coast there would be more than one teenager named Linda, yet there they all were, and they all went by their middle names so there was no confusion. Now, each was a different "character" in school. One was the "happy" girl; another was the beautiful, popular girl; one was the artistic type with bohemian bangles on her wrists; and, the fourth was the brain who would make it in any career – anywhere in the world.
At the beginning of this story, the four friends find themselves together once again – forty-seven years later, at their high school reunion.
Abby is the perfect housewife. She lives with her husband, Paul in their picture-perfect home. She’s never left the small-town, and Abby is completely and utterly bored. The kids are grown up and out of the house, and her husband seems to be having a mid-life crisis – hence his new Corvette.
Caroline was the beautiful one who is still the beautiful one. She moved to L.A. after high school and tried her best to become part of the acting industry. Unfortunately, she ended up as a waitress – a waitress in a really swanky place – but, a waitress nonetheless. Coming home for her high school reunion, she sees the fact that her mother’s health is slowly deteriorating, and she makes the decision to leave L.A. behind and come home to be the dutiful daughter.
Janie is a high-class NY attorney. She definitely puts ‘succeed’ into the phrase of "Most Likely to…" But the big city is basically giving her a big headache. And, with the loss of her parents, she comes home to take on the job of remodeling her mother’s house. Not only that, as she begins the large project, she also meets a man by the name of Victor who is looking at her as if she owns his future.
Finally, there’s Marley. Marley leaves the reunion early and heads back to Seattle where she works in an art gallery. Marley is divorced and feeling about as lonely as a human being can feel, trying desperately to change her life.
All four stories are lovely, and the way that friendship and life changes over time is reminiscent of the "buddy" books (i.e. The Ya-Ya Sisterhood). Although the story was well-thought out and well written, as all Ms. Carlson’s books are, unfortunately, it was a bit formulaic.
Until next time, Amy
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