12.16.2006

HH Com 84

Time flies, even when you're not having fun. At 32, Sarah Andrews feels as if she's squandering her life on a stalled career and superficial relationships. When she's forced to return to her old home town for her father's funeral, she's not sure whether the trip will be the most difficult experience of her life or just a hugely disruptive sadness. In fact, she can't decide which is worse: losing her father, whom she never felt she knew or pleased, or having to be around her mother, who always seemed more interested in her husband than in her daughter.

Maybe you can't go home again, but sometimes you still have to visit. (that's your best line) Stuck where she doesn't want to be, Sarah decides to embrace encounters with old friends, try to understand her ambivalence toward her father, and make peace with her mother. Along the way, she runs headlong into the last person she expects (or wants) to see: Dennis Petersen, the ex-boyfriend she dumped nine years earlier when she caught him having sex with her best friend.

Will her trip turn out to be about grief and the past, or will it help Sarah redefine the present and make more of her future? An Unexamined Life follows Sarah's attempts to find context, not just closure, and to understand herself as well as the friends, loved ones, and lovers who are woven into her life.


This is a run down of the plot. Frankly I want to kick Sarah in the keister and tell her to get some damn gumption. Introspective navel gazing is, as you might imagine, about the last thing on my list of things to read about. (Naval gazing on the other hand is rather fun during Fleet Week)

You're going to need some kind of levening agent here to get this out of the morass of mud blood and melancholy. That one best line hints at some humor. If you've got it, this could sure use a dose of it.

8 comments:

HawkOwl said...

Whoa. Story of my life. Except for the boyfriend sleeping with my best friend. That never happened. Why does everyone have to have the boyfriend + best friend thing going? That is SO old. Other than that, well, it really isn't that exciting, but I'm interested in reading it to see what you think happens to me next. I'd put it in the "yes" pile and hope for the best.

Clarice Snarkling said...

Good, tight writing in this one. I have faith that the first pages would be entertaining, as well. I wish, though, that all of these "young woman goes home again" stories didn't have to have some odious ex-boy involved. He's now, of course, strapping and polite, and makes her rethink her hurried life in the city and how it's changed her values and how, maybe, just maybe, her ex wasn't so odious after all.

I wish, just once, the ex was now handicapped, or a circus clown, or something like that.

Anonymous said...

Hope Floats.

cm allison said...

Or a loser stuck in a dead end job so she can spurn him once again. Never think about ex-boyfriends or ex-husbands, you dumped them for a reason!

Ski said...

I like the way you wrote what you wrote. It's an easy (and I don't mean that in a critical way)style, told in a way that an old friend would use as you drove together across the country. And - may I point out that once again I am diametrically opposed to the person who matters here - the lovely Miss Snark. So far I'm batt'in 1000. Oh...this is depressing. To the author - I'm really sorry.

Rgds..........Ski

Anonymous said...

"... having to be around her mother, who always seemed more interested in her husband than in her daughter."

I should jolly well hope so too. Does Sarah eventually figure out that the whole world doesn't actually revolve around her? Or does she just become a writer?

Evil DJ said...

She became a writer:
Sarah Andrews on Amazon

Anonymous said...

Sounds a little like a female (& book ) version of "Garden State."