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Monday, April 30, 2012

Review of Drawing Free, by Elena Aitken


Format: Ebook provided by author for review

“What would happen if I just kept driving?”

Moms aren’t supposed to have a life of their own, at least that’s what Becca Thompson believes. Between dealing with her youngest’s never ending tantrums, her teenager’s attitude and her ailing father’s rapidly failing memory, Becca doesn’t have time to worry about who she used to be.

Deep down, Becca knows she wants more than the daily chaos and the quick fixes her self-help books have to offer, but when her husband starts demanding more, the pressure proves to be too much. On the way to pick up her daughter, she makes the split second decision to take a different exit off the freeway and drives towards the mountains leaving her crumbling life in the rear-view mirror.

Fleeing to a remote mountain town, Becca knows she must rediscover her spirit, even if reconnecting with herself comes at the expense of everything she left behind.

Whew.  What a story.  Drawing Free is not a book for the light of heart, this book is a serious look at an all too real life for many women.  What mother and/or wife has not felt undervalued, underappreciated, and overwhelmed all at once?  What woman hasn’t taken a look at an opportunity to get the heck out of dodge without the glimmer of “what if…?”  Most of us don’t act on it, most of us don’t even give it more than a very quick passing thought.  But there are certainly many women who sit and fantasize about turning back that clock, taking a break from life.

This was quite the emotional book.  I spent a large part of it loving the story, loving the writing, but being so angry at Becca that if she had been in front of me, I’m not sure I could have been polite.  But yet at the same time, I understand.  Becca is a stay at home mom, which is easily more difficult than any job the rest of us who work outside the home have.  Her own mother died when she was a child, she married and had children at a young age and gave up on her own dreams and aspirations to become Mrs. Thompson, mother and wife.  Her dad is having Alzheimer type memory issues and often mistakes her for her late mother.  Her kids are real gems, taking her for granted and playing on her love, exhaustion, and a mother’s need to see her children happy. Her best friend is radiant with news of a European adventure when she is trapped at home in a lifestyle that has suddenly caught up with her.  And yes, she feels trapped. 

One day Becca is stuck in traffic on the way to pick up her daughter.  A quick call to her husband and a quick U-turn and she is off in another direction to disappear to Rainbow Valley where she hopes to discover who she is again.

Easy task, right?  A lot of people spend their whole lives and never figure out who they are.  And Becca has put her children, her husband, and her reality all on the line to figure it out.  As much as I initially didn’t like Becca, as much as some of her actions downright angered me…the woman needed a change.  She was clearly depressed and something needed to change.   Life ran away and left her with kids, chores, and a workaholic husband.  And she sought change.  She knew part of her was missing in the equation of her life, and she went to change it.  That takes courage.  Great big, brass courage.  Some people accused her of running away, and maybe part of it was.

But she made some friends in her brief journey to the cabin.  Positive or negative, they helped her get to the place she needed to be to be ok with herself.  And I can’t go much further than that without giving away secrets of the book.  We should all be so lucky to have a break, to retune our soul and remember who we are, who we want to be.  So if you read this book, take a moment and realize that while it is fiction, this can easily be about any number of women.  Get over the anger you feel at Becca and enjoy the story.  Maybe even live vicariously for a bit.  I’ll say it again, this is definitely an emotional story.  Be prepared to open your heart and your mind and go along for the ride.

*****
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Elena Aitken has a new book out, Sugar Crash.  Check it out on Amazon
Asking for help is the hardest part.

Darci Thompson has spent the last six years trying to hold everything together. Between raising 12-year-old Taylor and managing the local health food store, Darci's done it all on her own. But when Taylor ends up in the hospital, her diagnosis of Type I Diabetes sends their carefully constructed life into a tailspin.

For the sake of her daughter, Darci must face a whole new set of circumstances and push past her self imposed walls to prove that Diabetes won't define them. With the help of new friends and a man who believes in her, Darci must find the strength to challenge the stereotypes and make a difference. But is she willing to face her own obstacles and risk being vulnerable once again? 

~Inspired by real life events!~

**Portions of the proceeds will be donated to the Canadian Diabetes Association**


And this is where you can find Elena:


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