Years ago I read Tryin’ To Sleep in The Bed You Made by Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant. It was the first time that I read a work of fiction authored by more than one person and I was surprised and impressed with the fluidity of the writing. I’m not sure what I was expecting – maybe I thought that it would be choppy and clear who wrote what. In any case, I was so thrilled that I e-mailed the authors to share my delight and they wrote me back to thank me. That left an impression, so I officially became a fan and now read everything that they write.
Their latest, What Doesn’t Kill You is so timely that it is scary. Thomasina “Tee” Hodges is a successful single mother who is having a ball at her daughter’s wedding. She drives a nice car, owns a home, and is planning an upcoming cruise vacations with her girls. But no one, including her daughter, knows as they lift their champagne glasses in toasts to the mother of the bride, that she has just lost her job. How does someone who has only worked for one company her entire working career (having helped build that company from the ground up) pick up the pieces and move on?
The situations that Tee finds herself in as her life crumbles around her eerily reflect the news stories that we currently read every day. People in danger of losing their homes, cars, health insurance and the way of life that they enjoy. Going from pumping gas and just shoving the receipts in their purse to having to watch every penny and clip coupons. The endless job hunting, sending out loads of resumes, trying to figure out your old skills fit in to this new work world. It’s like DeBerry and Grant had a crystal ball or something.
The story was written so well that I was getting angry with Tee and some of the decisions that she made or put off until later. Decisions that I knew would come back and bite her in the ass. But then I realized that was real. When faced with situations like this some people go into depression and denial and just don’t want to face it full speed ahead. A great book takes you through emotions like that and this one is a great book.