If only Jillian can bite her tongue, she can make her relationship with Jackson work this time around.
If only she can impress his family and earn a sort-of smile from his mother, she’ll finally see a diamond on her left hand.
If only she can leave it to Jackson to finish writing his book and leave the wedding planning to everyone else, she and he will finally walk down the aisle.
And so it goes in Time Of My Life, which is being released today.
In her second novel, Allison Winn Scotch writes in the first person as Jillian Westfield, a 34-year-old perfectionist facing an early midlife crisis.
She used to run, and now she power walks.
She used to create advertising campaigns for mega companies, and now she watches bird droppings ooze over her car’s windshield.
She used to meet friends for drinks, and now she ignores the drink her 18-month-old daughter dumped over her head because she’s too exhausted to clean it up.
Coping with suburbia-induced boredom and husband-always-traveling loneliness is hard for Jillian, but when she learns that her ex-boyfriend is getting married, friends and acquaintances alike see that Jillian is crumbling.
She retreats to her masseuse and gets more of an escape than she bargained for: A trip back to her life of seven years ago with Jackson.
Time of My Life isn’t just about one woman’s struggle with identity, though. Allison adds depth to her book and validity to the dilemmas mothers face -- Did I marry the right man? Move to the right town? Make the right decision to stay home/work? Agree to have children at the right time? – by also chronicling Jillian’s boss’ marriage-career-children imbalance and Jillian’s mother’s extreme decision to turn her back on her family years ago.
To a lesser degree, Jackson’s sister is seeking to find herself as well, and so is Jillian’s best friend, Meg, who believes that only a child will fulfill her.
The subject matter is heavy, but never Allison’s writing. Jillian’s voice, real and confident, even if she’s not always feeling so, makes the book a quick read – which you'll appreciate: You see Jillian learning about herself along the way, although you’re not sure what conclusions she'll reach, and the suspense keeps you zooming to the lacking-in-cliché ending.
I entered Allison’s blog contest a few weeks back – talk about your “what if” moment -- and won a copy of Time of My Life. You can now do the same (although yours won’t be signed – I’m too greedy and I’m keeping it for myself!): Tell me about your “what if,” and I’ll pick one reader to receive a free copy, compliments of me and my mini-road trip to Barnes & Noble. It is, after all, Buy a Friend a Book Week.
Go, go, go. You have until Sunday at 12 a.m.!