DescriptionWhen free-spirited Skyla marries proper and predictable Thomas Plinka, she finally finds the love and stability she’s craved since childhood. She also acquires a new family: mother-in-law Audrey, disapproving and suspicious of Skyla’s nomadic past; father-in-law Walt, gruff but kind; and Thomas’s brothers, sofa-bound Jeffrey, and Dennis, who moved across the country seemingly to avoid the family.Skyla settles into marriage and motherhood, but quiet life in small-town Wisconsin can’t quell feelings of restlessness. Then into her life comes Madame Picard, the local psychic from the disreputable bookstore, Mystic Books, and new neighbor, Roxanne, whose goal in life is to have twelve kids even though she can’t manage the five she has. Despite her family’s objections, Skyla befriends Roxanne and gets a job at the bookstore, and life gets fuller and more complicated than she ever imagined. Exceptionally heartwarming and inevitably bittersweet, A Scattered Life is a story that will stay with the reader long after the last page is read.
The description for this book deceived me. I went into it thinking it’d be a fun story about a woman finding herself. It wasn’t fun, at all. What it was, was sad.
The story is told from the points of view of three different women Skyla, Audrey, and Roxanne. Skyla is a very boring character. She sort of just lives everyday without really living. It’s safer that way. She doesn’t open up to people, not even to her husband Thomas. Thomas is stable, but also quite boring. In fact, I hated him through 99% of the book. It wasn’t until the very end that I realized just how much he loves her. Her mother-in-law Audrey was a much more interesting character. She’s spent her entire adult life being a “perfect” mother, at least in her own eyes. In reality she is a control freak who has trouble letting the people she loves do anything, and by anything, I mean anything. Audrey has reached a turning point. She’s at a place in her life where her children are adults and she’s just lost. It doesn’t help that her favorite son has moved across the country and her new daughter-in-law can’t hardly stand her and shuts her out of everything. Then in walks Roxanne. She is the force of this novel and is really the only likeable character. She brings a light into their dull lives and into this book.
The book store and Madame Picard really didn’t play the roll I thought they would. Skyla gets a job at the book store, where the so called psychic works. Audrey, of course. strongly disapproves of Skyla taking away valuable time from her granddaughter to work and naturally starts to spy on everyone. In a jealous, angry moment, Audrey does something terribly mean and reports Roxanne to social services for child neglect. Acting on the advice from Madame Picard, the monster-in-law sets out to right her wrongs in hopes to have the only thing she wanted all a long, her family.
By the end it’s Roxanne that brings everyone together. She’s the central force pulling them all in.
Did I like the book? Yes
Did I love the book? No
Would I recommend it? Yes
Over all rating: Good
Favorite quote: “There’s a lot of love out there, Skyla, if you’ll just let people into your life. People are the only things that matter. Open your heart.” -Roxanne