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Worse Than Being Alone by Patricia Clark
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Worse Than Being Alone

by Patricia Clark

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Kitty Talty and her friend Roni Edelin, childhood friends, went to college together and became RNs. Their careers and lives went different directions but eventually they formed a Workers’ Compensation case management/investigative company. It’s mission was to find the best treatment for the patients who were injured on the job and expose those who are either entirely faking their injuries or extending the time needed to return to work.
These cases were about half of the plot and covered both types of cases. While they were successful in explaining the results of some injuries, such as severe burns, or becoming a paraplegic or quadraplegic, the emphasis was on the cheats. I don’t think two of the examples were logical: I doubt if a person involved in major felonies would bother with filing a false Workers’ Compensation report though identity theft seems possible.
The second major part of the story involved the growing relationship of Roni’s 85-year-old father Billy with the younger Marian Cirillo. Unsure if she is just resentful of her father dating and possibly rushing into marriage with Marian, Roni undertakes an investigation of Marian’s background while Billy looks upon the relationship as his last chance at happiness after being alone for eight years after his wife’s death from cancer. Having been alone for several years (abandoning her alcoholic husband and their seventeen-year-old son) at one point, she sees benefits of being alone. I found this a refreshing change from the typical stories where a woman isn’t complete without a man and much of the plot involves looking for that man.
Other important part of the story are Kitty’s relationship with her son, Ethan, and the discussions about mental illness- what it feels like to the person with the illness and its influence on people around them. Kitty’s mother was paranoid and the women hired Cindy, another student from their school years, who has obsessive compulsive behavior. While talking about Cindy’s behaviors, Kitty notes, “Her...behaviors are impossible to conceal. The rest of us become practiced masters at hiding our insecurities, our paranoid thought patterns, and our strange reactions to certain events....I am much more comfortable having Cindy’s dysfunction front and center than to analyze mine too closely.” She also began to think about what it was like for her mother who may have, on one level realized her fears were irrational, believed them and had to live with them everyday.
When thinking back about her ex-husband’s alcoholism, Kitty asked herself, “How many red flags did I miss when I was going out with James? Did I see them and dismiss them or just miss them entirely, or was James so clever he successfully hid them?
She writes about female mass murderers, pointing out that while we know the names of the male ones, we don’t know the female ones. They differ from their male counterparts. Some are the Black Widows. Others kill their victims for other reasons. Poison is their most common weapon.
Patricia M. Clark opens the book by stating it is partially based on the experiences of a friend of hers. Her friend thinks her father is being taken in by a woman who is trying to steal his money. Ms. Clark took the idea and ran with it, writing an interesting, informative book which captured and maintained my interest. The tidbits of information on other issues, such as workers’ comp services and fraud, mental illness, female mass murderers, and burn victims were spread throughout the story and provided unexpected insight.
This book was a free Amazon download. ( )
  Judiex | Mar 24, 2013 |
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