I bet the irony of the title of Kathleen Kole’s new novel, FAVORABLE CONDITIONS isn’t lost on her main character. Pat Keegan’s husband, Stephen has left her to go find himself, her kids have grown up and gone off to college and she’s found herself stuck in a big empty house at forty-five with no career of which to speak. But Pat isn’t one to sit back and wallow! She spends one night at home drinking too much and then heads out the next day and buys a business. She purchases Main Street Used Books and renames it Possibilities! We love her already!
Another day Pat goes jogging and literally runs into tall, dark and handsome, Ian. After making sure she’s okay he continues on with his jog with Pat securely in his thoughts. Not soon after, Ian shows up in her bookstore and one thing leads to another including the revelation that Ian is nine years younger than Pat. They are immediately smitten with one another, but the age difference is a huge problem for Pat and a couple of the other characters in the novel. At first, I found the issue kind of unrealistic, but after thinking about it a bit more, I've realized that Kathleen may have brought up something really important. Us women are getting better as we get older and we can date who we want. In many cases, the younger, the better! However, there’s still a stigma attached.
I’d like to think as a society, and as modern women, we’ve pretty much moved past the whole age thing, but maybe we haven’t. I think it’s getting better, but is there still ageism out there, which Kathleen highlights in her new novel, FAVORABLE CONDITIONS? I found this an interesting topic for Kathleen Kole to tackle in the context of a novel. She doesn’t make any judgments. She puts the subject out there so the reader can experience the conflict that Pat goes through. You’ll have to read the novel to find out what happens. It’s actually a great subject for book club. FYI: Women at any age, especially over forty, belong in nightclubs!
Back to the book, Kathleen creates a nice group of characters and I especially appreciated how her BFF, Melanie is always able to be there for her without being a doormat. Pat is going through some tough times, and keeping that relationship balanced isn’t always easy. There are several times when Pat should just put a sign up on the front door saying “Closed for Good.”
This looks to be a big year for Kathleen Kole. She has a novel coming out in the spring and another one later this fall. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter and on her website.
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