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The Allison Show: Helen of Pasadena Book Review

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Wednesday, November 10

Helen of Pasadena Book Review

Title: Helen of Pasadena
Author: Lian Dole
Publisher: Prospect Park Books
Published: November 1, 2010
ISBN: 978-0984410224

Summary: "Helen Fairchild is leading a privileged Pasadena existence: married to a pillar of the community; raising a water polo-playing son destined for the most select high school; volunteering her time on the most fashionable committees. It only bothers Helen a tiny bit the she has never quite fit in with the proper Pasadena crowd, never finished that graduate degree in Classics, and never had that second baby. But the rigid rules of society in Pasadena appeal to Helen, the daughter of Oregon "fiber artists," even if she'll never be on the inside. And then along comes a Rose Parade float, killing her philandering husband and leaving Helen broke, out of her "forever' house and scrambling to salvage her once-rarefied existence. Enter Dr. Patrick O'Neill, noted archaeologist, excavator of Troy and wearer of nubby sweaters. A job as Dr. O'Neill's research assistant is the lifeline Helen needs to reinvent herself, both personally and professionally. Ancient mysteries to solve! Charity events to plan! School admissions advisors to charm! If Helen wasn't so distracted by her incredibly attractive boss, she might be able to pull off this new life. Helen's world widens to include a Hollywood star, a local gossip columnist, an old college nemesis, a high-powered Neutron Mom, an unforgiving school headmistress , the best Armenian real state agent in the biz, and, of course, the intriguing Patrick O'Neill. While uncovering secrets about ancient Troy alongside her archaeologist boss, Helen discovers something much more: a new sense of self and a new love."

This book was very good!!  It starts with Helen at her husband's funeral.  He died only hours after telling her that not only had he been cheating on her with a younger woman but that the new woman was his soul mate.  To compound his transgression, Helen finds out that he spent all their money and she is now deeply in debt.  She has to sell her house in order to pay off the bills and pay for her son's private school tuition.  As she works her way through these problems, she discovers the woman she really is.

Anyone who has been affected by the economic downturn can relate to her struggles  as she attempts to sell her house and find a job after being a stay at home mom for 10+ years.  Dolan does a great job of bringing her characters to life and we can't help love Helen.

Lian Dolan is a mother, wife, sister, friend,  daughter, novelist, writer, and talk show host.  She writes and talks about her adventures in modern motherhood for her website, and her weekly podcast, The Chaos Chronicles.  Lian has always used her voice to take on all aspects of motherhood, from common-sense parenting to all-consuming school volunteering to overcoming handbag envy.  She is known for her humorous take on the day-to-day issues that face women everywhere. The Chaos Chronicles is currently being developed by Nickelodeon as a half-hour comedy.
Prior to The Chaos Chronicles, Lian spent a decade hosting Satellite Sisters, an award-winning talk show that she created with her four real sisters. Satellite Sisters has won 11 Gracie Allen Awards for Excellence in Women’s Media, including Talk Show of the Year in 2006. On air, Lian has interviewed everybody from Bill Clinton to Nora Roberts to Maya Angelou. Lian is the Executive Editor of the Satellite Sisters website.


Blogger DP said...

Great blog! Following you now.

November 10, 2010 at 11:46 PM  

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