Sunday, February 24, 2013

Dolls Behaving Badly by Cinthia Ritchie

4.5 Star

Carla Richards is a lot of things. She's a waitress at Anchorage's premier dining establishment, Mexico in an Igloo; an artist who secretly makes erotic dolls for extra income; a divorcee who can't quite detach from her ex-husband; and a single mom trying to support her gifted eight-year-old son, her pregnant sister, and her babysitter-turned-resident-teenager.

She's one overdue bill away from completely losing control-when inspiration strikes in the form of a TV personality. Now she's scribbling away in a diary, flirting with an anthropologist, and making appointments with a credit counselor.

Still, getting her life and dreams back on track is difficult. Is perfection really within reach? Or will she wind up with something even better?

Jen - 4.5 Star

I can’t wait for more readers to discover the charming story, Dolls Bahaving Badly by Cinthia Ritchie. When they do, I think they will all agree with me when I say that though rough around the edges, this book is surprisingly endearing, hard to put down and easy to relate to. It didn’t take me long to decide this book was worth of a 4.5 rating.

The main character, a down on her luck, divorced waitress, Carla, can’t catch a break. In between her down trodden diary entries and letters from collection services, I fell in love with Cinthia Ritchie’s  writing because the story was funny without trying.

The beginning of the book is slow, although still alarming. It took awhile to identify a plot, but once I did, I was able to read along is a fast paced way that I found truly enjoyable.

Carla’s dream to be an artist is thwarted by her situation as a divorced waitress in isolated Alaska. The only guidance she has comes from flashbacks of her beloved grandmother and from her incredibly smart and lovable son, Jay-Jay. She’s stuck in a rut of poverty, which may seem like a story told too many times, but Ritchie weaves a hilariously funny story with tiny anecdotes about Carla’s fellow waitress friend, Sandee, who has a date with a man who likes to hear moose calls while making love, and the endearing poetry written by a teenaged daughter of a drug dealer who lives a couple trailers down.

Slowly, Carla comes alive, thanks to emails from a self help guru, a finance advisor and a few, colorful, random friends.. Her secret art, sculpting dolls for an adult website, takes shape in a way Carla never imagined. Her talents, her relationships and most surprising to Carla, her love life, all change and she’s left at the end of a book a new woman.

My favorite part of the book happened when Carla was getting ready for an interview and has nothing to wear. The people around her, the ones who love her and are always there for her, literally give her the clothes off their backs and she’s “clothed in my friends’ best intentions.” There are many more endearing moments in Dolls Behaving Badly, but you’ll have to find them for yourself.

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

Connect with Cinthia Ritchie:

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the great review, Jen! I love what you wrote, especially about the endearing moments (almost got teary-eyed).
    Cheers and hugs from Alaska.



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