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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Friday, December 6, 2013

Would She Stay if He Regained His Weight? A Good Question!

Vegas to VaranasiVegas to Varanasi by Shelly Hickman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was a first reads giveaway that came in the mail two days ago, so, since I finished it so quickly it is obviously an easy read. Basically, it is the story of a single mother of two twenty something kids, a boy and a girl, whose father was her high school sweetheart who turned out to be gay. They are divorced but still socialize--he and his partner, Richard and she, with her partner, David. David, a charming man with whom she has lived for several years, develops a serious alcohol problem and becomes quite neglectful of Anna and her kids as he strives to write the new American best seller. Once he has finished it and it has been submitted to a publisher, he ends his live-in relationship with Anna but wants to remain friends, particularly with her children.

In the meantime, Anna through one of her physical therapy patients, reconnects with another high school classmate, Kirin, who was apparently quite overweight and insecure back then. He remembers Anna as one of the few students who paid any attention to him, even stood up for him, back then. She doesn't really remember him at all but now she is overwhelmed by this man, who is, according to the book, now a modern day Indian Adonis. They start dating, eventually he asks her to join him on a trip to Varanasi to visit his dying Grandmother. She goes, they return and basically the first part of the book is repeated with a few new scenarios. But, all the problems are resolved and all is right with the kids, Anna and Kirin and even David and his new squeeze who turns out to be Kirin's ex-fiancé.

Up to and including the trip to India I really enjoyed the book. Kirin has been hurt and jilted by women when fat, obese even, but he seems more secure as a newly thin person than Anna does, with her constant preoccupation with his beauty. Okay, as her friend Judith tells her, how could she not notice his looks but come on--get over it! Obviously, some one this gorgeous is going to be noticed and once in awhile the woman involved with him, no matter how long, will notice in some fleeting moment that beauty once more---BUT, eventually, it is not consciously noted. What else, besides sexual performance does this man have to offer? And why is Anna so insecure that even after a long relationship she still needs to keep her home in case this beauty decides she isn't worth his time after all?

The best part of the book so far as description of scene and development of character takes place in India. Once Anna and Kirin return things go nowhere back home. The author does make clear that the two of them aren't sure their new found intimacy and attraction will last once they return to the reality of home and family and that is a legitimate concern. The second part of the book made me impatient and irritated with them all. No one gets impatient, angry, irritated. Everyone is kind and caring and there for everyone else in a way that I just could not believe. Anna, in particular, drove me nuts with her patience with David. Close the door already--but then it is because Anna is just so caring and sweet that ex-husband Luke, old lover, David and new lover, Kirin just put up with her.

Finally, after all this repetition, the author ends the book with one chapter that starts 9 months after the end of the last chapter and culminates with at least four adults changing the diaper of a very poopy newborn. Sort of a let down to say the least. So all in all, though easily read, the book is just okay.

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