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Mad Dash: A Novel by Patricia Gaffney
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Mad Dash: A Novel (original 2007; edition 2008)

by Patricia Gaffney

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Member:AbbyTurner
Title:Mad Dash: A Novel
Authors:Patricia Gaffney
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Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:Mom and Dad

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Mad Dash by Patricia Gaffney (2007)

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I didn't bother to finish this one. I'd enjoyed a previous book ([b:Saving Grace|130916|The Saving Graces A Novel|Patricia Gaffney|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1171995451s/130916.jpg|126092]s) and thought I might like this one, but I couldn't get involved with the characters, especially the main character, Dash. She is a 40-ish photographer, wife of a history professor, whose mother has recently died and whose daughter is off to college. So of course she has a midlife crisis (but insists it isn't), and flees to the family's mountain cabin with a puppy. She appears to be finding surrogates for her mother and daughter, and possibly even her husband, but she still loves him even though he's occasionally annoying. I just didn't want to spend any more time with her. ( )
  auntieknickers | Apr 3, 2013 |
A SUPPLE, SMOOTH VOICE PERFORMANCE:
Decisions, decisions, decisions....life's full of them, isn't it? Sometimes we live to regret them; at other times we're thankful for powers that help us choose which is best.

Dash Bateman finds herself in a quandary, an unhappy one. Married for two decades to Andrew she now finds him bothersome. In fact, almost everything he does bothers her. Isn't it ridiculous that he needs a glass of warm milk at bedtime or that he forces her to go to faculty parties that he obviously doesn't enjoy?

Their daughter has recently gone to college, and she lost her mother a short while ago. Now, it seems that's all that's left for her is Andrew and she doesn't believe that's near enough. Dash is convinced there must be more in life for her than what she has, but where is it or who is it? She leaves, retreats to their summer cabin.

It comes as no surprise that recently Andrew hasn't found much joy in their relationship either. He's a college professor who likes quiet, and order in his life. He certainly didn't want the abandoned puppy they found on their doorstep! He thinks with Dash gone he can concentrate on his work and enjoy a peaceful existence.....for a change.

Gaffney tells her story in alternate points of view as we learn more about both Dash and Andrew and, as it evolves, they learn more about themselves and each other. How strong are love's ties? What brought them together 20 years ago?

It would seem almost logical that in an almost two character story an audio version would have a male and a female voice. This is not the case, and actress Laural Merlington does a splendid job of reflecting both personalities, their hopes and their dreams. Many will remember her for vivid narrations of Acts of Malice, Back On Blossom Street, Beautiful Dreamer, etc. Merlington is an experienced performer who always delivers her best in a voice both supple and smooth.

- Gail Cooke
  lonepalm | Dec 8, 2011 |
Patricia Gaffney's women's fiction books are a real challenge for me. I can't resist them, because she's such a fabulous writer, and because she's witty and wise and, well, I don't think it's exaggerating much to call her a goddess. On the other hand, it's women's fiction. In general, it's the one genre I loathe. At best, it's serious. At worst, it's whiny women who blame men for all their problems. It's a good thing I love Gaffney, because otherwise I'd hate her. Not only does she make me read women's fiction... she makes me love it.

Dash and Andrew have been married nearly 20 years. He's a stuffy history professor, she's a free-spirited photographer. Dash's mother died recently, and now their only child is going off to college. Then a puppy shows up on their doorstep. Dash wants to keep it, Andrew's allergic. Dash and the puppy out, going to their cottage.

Andrew: She's leaving me? Over a puppy?
Dash: How can he not see that it's not about the puppy?

I'd venture to say that most long-married couples will recognize the spirit behind their confusion--Pat has human nature down so well that these characters feel utterly real.

Like many couples in their situation, they've taken each other for granted, focused on their careers, their children, their aging parents, and when that outside focus is taken away, they find themselves married to someone they don't know, and maybe don't even like all that much. And the women (though this could apply to men, too, but in this case, it's Dash) discover that after years of devoting themselves to other people--husband, parents, children--there's nothing left of themselves.

How Dash and Andrew cope with the separation and learn and grow and find themselves and each other again is a story full of warmth and humor and pain and love and realism. It's truly a wonderful book. ( )
  Darla | Nov 19, 2008 |
Sometimes you have to leave before you learn where you belong. After an argument with her husband over an abandoned dog, Dash moves out to a family cottage in Virginia for an undefined "interlude". Dash has always been the vivacious, flighty one, while Andrew has been her "rock". Each must face their aloneness and examine their side of the story of their marriage. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and envied them in their marriage, boulders and all. ( )
  punxsygal | Aug 14, 2008 |
Chick Lit for 40-somethings. 45-year-old Dash leaves her staid husband while she tries to deal with her mother's death last summer, her daughter's leaving for college, and the fact that her hypochondriac, ponderous husband drives her crazy most of the time. Light-weight but endearing. ( )
  emitnick | Aug 11, 2008 |
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Dedication
For James Holmes Gaffney.
1909--2006
First words
The puppy and I trip over each other coming through the door, just as the phone stops ringing.
Quotations
If God wanted us to be monogamous, he wouldn't have made us multiorgasmic.
Which is it, you're good at what you love or you love what you're good at?
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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)

(see all 2 descriptions)

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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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