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Mad Dash: A Novel (original 2007; edition 2008)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0307382117, Hardcover)A former high school English teacher and freelance court reporter, Patricia Gaffney is the bestselling author of several historical romance novels since 1989, including her debut, Sweet Treason, the winner of won the Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart award. Lately her fiction has taken a contemporary turn with The Saving Graces, Circle of Three, and The Goodbye Summer, all national bestsellers.
Guest Reviewer: Nora Roberts
Nora Roberts, who also writes under the pseudonym J.D. Robb, is the author of over 150 bestselling, including: Angels Fall; Born in Death; Blue Smoke; The Reef; and High Noon, published in July 2007.
It’s been too long between Patricia Gaffney books. Too long, in this reader’s opinion, to settle in with a story told in her unique and engaging style. Fortunately, Mad Dash is worth the wait. By turns quirky, poignant and flat-out funny, Mad Dash mines the treasure trove of consequences, epiphanies and surprises when a long-time married couple experiences mid-life crises simultaneously. The underlying question Gaffney asks through her utterly human characters shines a mirror on anyone who’s ever been in a relationship. How can I love you when you annoy me so much? For Dash Bateman, floundering after the death of her mother, and with her only child off at college, a moment of impulse reaps enormous repercussions. An abandoned puppy, a husband with allergies, a simmering discontent add up to a flashover that has her walking out on her husband and their D.C. home to take up residence in their summer cabin in Virginia--with puppy. It was all his fault anyway. Andrew Bateman isn’t one for change or for impulses. He’s perfectly happy--or so he tells himself--with his steady if routine career as a college professor. He’s certain he’ll enjoy a little break from his energetic and often chaotic wife. A little peace and quiet, a little order, with everything in its place. Besides, she’ll be back. Over the six months of their strange and somehow intimate separation, Dash falls back in love with her job as a children’s portrait photographer, and remembers not only who she was, but learns to understand and accept who she is. Andrew discovers peace and quiet isn’t all he assumed it would be--and that if his eight-year-old neighbor understands women better than he does, it might be time to learn. Using alternating points of view, Gaffney exposes he hearts and minds, the frustrations, flaws and foibles of the two central characters with such affectionate clarity, you’ll find yourself rooting for both of them. Mad Dash blends the colorful, impulsive Dash, the steady, yet hypochondria-prone Andrew with a cast of diverse, well-drawn characters, flavors them with a perfect blend of humor and heart, and simmers them together in entertaining style. The result is a delightful soufflé of a novel the reader will remember long after the last page.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:59:43 -0400)
Women. American fiction. The puppy started it. The poor thing was cold and trembling, abandoned on their front doorstep. Dash, impulsive as always, decides on the spot that they should keep it. But her husband, Andrew, thinks it's the craziest thing he's ever heard. A fight over a scruffy little dog doesn't seem like much of a reason to walk out on your husband of twenty years - but the spat over the puppy is just the last of many straws. Dash is so tired of the faculty parties at Mason-Dixon College that Andrew insists they attend even though he won't mingle with his colleagues, tired of his constant fretting over illnesses he doesn't have, tired of the glass of warm milk he must have every night before bed. Why can't he see that with her mother gone and their daughter off at college, Dash needs something more? Now, living on her own for the first time in years, Dash can do whatever she wants...if only she could figure out what that is. But every time she starts making plans for the future, she finds herself thinking about the past - remembering the mother she's lost, her daughter's childhood, and the husband she isn't entirely sure she wants to leave behind.
(summary from another edition)
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