Friday, June 12, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: "How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life"

How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life
By Mameve Medwed
Copyright 2006
HarperCollins Publishing
Adult Fiction

Okay, so I’ll admit it. I’m a sucker for a good chamber pot story. How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life is a well-written novel about Abby Randolph, a “professional” antiques dealer, who doesn’t always seem so professional. Especially when she stumbles upon a chamber pot with some unique features. She doesn’t think much of it herself, but when a colleague urges her to take it on Antiques Roadshow, she is surprised to learn of the pot’s origins.

Wait a minute. Let me back up. Really, this isn’t a story about a chamber pot at all. Really it’s about how sometimes life IS a chamber pot that we may find ourselves wallowing in. And somehow, we have to find a way to crawl out of it. This book is about the main character doing just that.

Abby has just broken up with her boyfriend Clyde, a man she somehow always knew wasn’t really her soulmate, even though he seemed to fit into her life okay. She is pining away, but not really for him; more for the idea of togetherness. A part of Abby is also pining away for Ned, her childhood crush, and someone more suited to meet the needs of her soul. Unfortunately, Ned has done something totally idiotic that Abby simply cannot forgive.

So through these relationship ups and down, through her visits to flea markets and tag sales, through her antique discoveries, through a lawsuit mired in bitter selfishness, Abby Randolph slowly but surely climbs her way out of that chamber pot. It is a fun journey.

Definitely more geared for the female crowd, but I would recommend this book if you’d like a lighthearted read, if you are an amateur antiquarian, or if the Cambridge area is of interest to you. Lots of historical and geographic references, not to mention a fun title, and just plain readable!

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