Published May 2010 by Bantam
Source: the publisher and TLC Book Tours
Five women meet in the bathroom of the airport in Tampa when they all pitch in to try to save one woman's cell phone that's become jammed in a toilet. Two of them women have just discovered that one knows the others husband but otherwise they are all complete strangers. While they're in the midst of the rescue, an announcement comes over the airport intercom stating that all outgoing flights have been canceled due to a storm which seems to be effecting enough major airports to shut down all air travel. One of the women suggests that they all return to the suite she just vacated, which she knows for a fact is still empty and ride out the wait there. Things only go from bad to worse--the storm suddenly shifts and hits Tampa; it turns out that Cathy, who knew Nan's husband, was actually having an affair with him; and an attendee at a Para-Psychic Professional conference taking place in the hotel seems to know more about the youngest woman, Holly, than she is comfortable with. And Cathy's not the only one hiding a secret. Let the bonding--or cat fighting--begin.
I really wanted to like this book. The publisher's blurb said "http://litandlife.blogspot.com/2010/07/travels-with-shepps-part-2.html" But almost from the beginning, my eyes started rolling in disbelief and they never stopped. The whole set up to put these women together seemed so contrived, I didn't buy that one storm was going to cause such a massive shutdown of airports in the U.S., and I found it even harder to believe that the storm suddenly hit Florida with such fury. More than once I tagged a passage with a sticky note that simply said "really???" For example:
"...they all took a ridiculous chance to help a stranger by willingly participating in this Airside A restroom event."
A ridiculous chance? Really???
I didn't find it hard to believe that a group of women would decide to group together to share a hotel room to ride out a storm--even a group of total strangers. Women do that. But these women weren't even really getting along in the bathroom so why they would choose to spend a couple of days together? And that's the question each of them kept asking themselves again...and again...and again. And for some reason Radish keeps suggesting that staying together was a dangerous decision.
Occasionally I found a passage that made me really think that Radish could do better. The very idea that all women are connected by a string:
"It allows women to lean into one another and find a sister when they need one. The string can never be broken. You can use it to pull yourself up, to pull yourself forward, or to steady the place where you must remain."
Or this description of friendship:
"Women who have someone who understands the pace of their moods, their list of regrets and longings, the reasons why they let go of some things and cling to others. Women who know that the call will always be answered without hesitation. Women who can at any given moment fill the hollow pit of loneliness that sometimes cripples them."
And I could completely relate to this passage about motherhood:
"That absolutely lovely feeling when everyone is home and safe and the doors are locked and the house is clean and for just a few hours there is the scent of calm happiness everywhere she turns."
Radish is also the author of "Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral" and I remember reading reviews of that book. If you read that one, what did you think of it.
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For other opinions of "Hearts On A String" check out this list of blogs.