Despite the fact that I occasionally whine about the fact that I live in a cornfield, (a gross exaggeration, to be honest. At least half the fields are soybeans) but I LOVE the Midwest. I love the food, I love the people. It’s far from perfect, but it’s home. I think you know where this is heading. I picked up yet another book based in no small part on the fact that it was partially set in the Midwest and starred Midwestern characters. I’m very predictable that way. I received a complimentary copy of I’m Glad About You by Theresa Rebeck for review consideration. These are my honest opinions, of course, because my integrity costs more than a free digital galley. Throw in some diamonds next time, geeze.
Alison and Kyle were high school sweethearts in Cincinnati, Ohio. Kyle was an idealistic and religious young man seeking to change the world with a medicine. Alison wanted desperately to break away from the Midwest and pursue her dreams of becoming an actress. With their dreams pulling them in opposite directions, Kyle and Alison throw in the towel on their relationship after a tumultuous six year run. Alison goes on to get her big break in NYC while Kyle marries, starts a family, and practices medicine in Cincinnati. Though they’ve both seemingly moved on, they still can’t quite seem to shake the hold they have on each other. As their paths continue to cross they’re both forced to examine their choices and the compromises they’ve made to pursue their dreams… Even when their dreams don’t turn out the way they imagined they would.
Ooooh this book. Gosh, I can’t quite pinpoint how I feel about it. Let’s start with what I loved. My BFF lives in Cincinnati so I got way too excited reading shout outs to Graeter’s Ice Cream and Skyline Chili. I personally don’t quite get the Skyline phenomenon (don’t tell my “nephew”), but Graeter’s? SO GOOD. Plus their zoo totally has a penguin exhibit. You’d think that wouldn’t be a huge draw, but my local zoo? Zero penguins. It’s devastating. I really dug the Midwestern charm and the mention of casseroles and foods full of mayonnaise. Lemme tell you about my jello salads, y’all!
That said, I tend to have a difficult time relating to story lines that go behind the scenes of Hollywood, fame, and fortune, because it seems so foreign to me. The stories seem to be at best bittersweet and at worst fully tragic. Hence, Alison’s time in the spotlight didn’t resonate with me the way I’d hoped it would. Well, except for her diet. Hollywood, please just stooooooooooop with making the starlets get extra super skinny. They’re so hungry! Also Kyle’s approach to his Catholicism kind of confused me. Granted, it’s a pretty rules-heavy religion (a thing I know from personal experience) but he seemed to practice in the least pragmatic way possible. He’d screw something up but the choice he’d make to atone was way worse than what he’d done in the first place. The dude is a doctor but often severely lacking in common sense when it comes to his personal life.
So there you have my mixed bag o’ feelings about I’m Glad About You by Theresa Rebeck. If it sounds even remotely interesting to you, though, you should probably read it. I need someone to hash this out with.
Talk to me, Bookworms! I seem to always have trouble relating to Hollywood plots- is there a setting or situation that you run into in books that always kind of throws you?
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