Being fifty-something, I love a great read.
I love it even more when a great read just falls in my lap. No prevaricating over the “just returned” shelves at the library. No trawling through the “people who bought this also bought this” recommendations at Amazon. No hoping to luck onto a pre-read gem at the goodwill store.
It was pure, girl-giggly delight when Random House offered to send me a review copy (plus one to giveaway) of Jeanne Ray’s new novel, Calling Invisible Women.
I was even more giggly when the parcel arrived containing two mint hardback copies. Win!
Inside a little voice was warning: “what if it’s crap?” What if I have to pen a review about a mediocre (or worse) book?
I didn’t have to face that dilemma.
Calling Invisible Women turned out to be quite the page-turner.
I admit to some early reservations. The synopsis began with: “Calling Invisible Women is a delightfully funny and clever novel about Clover, a mom in her fifties who wakes up one morning to find that she is quite literally invisible.”
Could I (would I) suspend my disbelief for long enough to connect with an invisible character? I mean … I’ve felt invisible (hey, I’m fifty-something). But actually going along for the ride with a truly invisible protagonist? I had my doubts.
I was wrong (and thrilled to be wrong, yet again).
In Calling Invisible Women, Jeanne Ray draws her characters with such heart and reality that I had no choice but to jump in and hang on tight. Calling Invisible Women is keenly observational … of fifty-something women, of families, of best friends and of strangers. It’s a comedy, a love story, a family tale and a thriller all fused into a single narrative told in an almost spare language that lets the characters propel the story straight into your heart.
For Clover (the main character) the calamity of being suddenly invisible takes her on a journey where others might fear to tread. Who knew that in the hands of a suburban mum, invisibility could become a super power that would help galvanise a collective? OK … that’s as close as I’m going to a spoiler. Let me just say that if Erin Brockovich had been an invisible fifty-something woman, that movie might have been done with in the first couple of acts.
Clever, thought-provoking, giggle-inducing, tear-jerking … what more could one ask for in a novel? When I turned the last page, I wanted for more. I thought the end had come too swiftly, that loose threads still dangled teasingly from the narrative. Then I realised I didn’t need to know more. I don’t need to know everything. When does that ever happen in life? We only ever know snippets and phases, stories and tales … never the full picture. And perhaps Jeanne Ray is cleverly leaving room for a sequel.
I hope so.
Thank you Random House for not sending me (us) a lemon.
***GIVEAWAY*** – UPDATE 29 June 2012 – GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED – WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED SATURDAY
So, here’s the rub. Thanks to Random House, I have a copy (mint hardback) of Calling Invisible Women to give away to a reader of Being fifty-something (that’s you, by definition.).
I have no plans to make you jump through hoops (no collecting coupons, no 25 words-or-less). Just let me know in the comments below if you’re interested, and I’ll put you in the draw.
If you’d like a second chance, I’d appreciate you hopping over to Being fifty-something’s Facebook community and registering your “like” there.
If you’re still keen (you could be exhausted by now) you could also follow Being fifty-something on Twitter for a third chance: @fifty_something or follow the link in the sidebar to the right.
With your last shred of eagerness, perhaps you could spread the love? Share a link, re-tweet a tweet … tell a friend. Just don’t jump through any hoops.
Let me know how keen you’ve been in the comments below and I’ll sort out the probability this end. This is my first giveaway, so I’m planning to get Wonder Boy to help me sort one of those random computer thingamy things to make sure everything is above board.
Will close the gates at midnight Thursday 28 June and announce (and notify) the winner on Saturday 30 June.
And yes … I’m happy to post the prize internationally (at my cost). After all, Random House were generous enough to ship to me from New York.
May the (invisible) force be with you … and good luck.
About the author:
Jeanne Ray is an inspirational author who worked as a registered nurse for forty years before she wrote her first novel at the age of sixty. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and her dog, Red. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Julie and Romeo, Julie and Romeo Get Lucky, Eat Cake, and Step-Ball-Change.