Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Book Review: Searching for My Wand

By Gail Allison

Glenda (named--incorrectly!--after Glinda the Good Witch from The Wizard of Oz) is struggling. Everything looks great on the outside, but inside, she’s crumbling. Glenda truly wants to be the best she can be: the best mother, the best wife, and the best friend, but life gets in the way. She is absolutely determined to live up to her namesake, though. Glenda needs to learn to overcome the curveballs that life throws her way with her own wry sense of humor before she can start striving for the stars, and sometimes that starts to feel like a little too much to ask. However, she is not a quitter. She keeps going full steam ahead, even when it’s a path she’s been down before.

The cast of characters that Bridget Straub has built into "Searching for My Wand," including Glenda, are well-written and interesting. She keeps them realistic by letting us see their flaws and foibles, even when it seems that those around them can’t. She also maintains a “light at the end of the tunnel” outlook throughout what could be an extremely pessimistic novel. You’re really rooting for Glenda the whole way through. As well, she fleshes out the characters enough that you can start to see shades of people in your own life within them. You know: the best friend who appears to have it all in check, but when you look closer, she’s just as frazzled as you are.

I found Ms. Straub’s jumps from past to present and back again to be confusing at first, but once I got into it, started looking forward to the different pieces and learning more about who people were versus who they are now in the book. They say everything happens for a reason, and you slowly learned from these people’s past lives why they were the way they were in the present. As well, the tiny illustrations scattered throughout were a nice break every now and again.

Yes, this book does deal with slightly darker material, but it’s not a heavy read by any means. Glenda’s persistent optimism, coupled with a simple and peppy writing style keeps this one light and fun.

Bridget Straub has now written four books. "Searching For My Wand" has been available as an ebook since December of 2011, and can be found on Amazon for under $5!

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