Saturday, June 16, 2012

Review: THE JOY OF DECEPTION by Gretchen Johnson

What a great collection of stories—well-written with a dialogue so refreshing and captivating. They are filled with characters that live each insipid day in sorrow, loneliness, and desperation. You can’t help but feel in good company with them.

We start things off with a funny and relatable story in “The Beauty of Silence” when a man goes on a date with a woman who won’t stop talking. I absolutely loved how the author depicted marriage in a true-to-life setting that enveloped the characters to the mere point of drainage and suffocation. I was totally on board with Daphne in “Unpacked Suitcase” when she said, “He moved in 3 weeks later, and we shared my one bedroom apartment blissfully happy for about a month and a half before his annoying habits started to create my misery.” (pg. 127) So FUNNY and TRUE! I couldn’t help feeling high praise for her when she openly admitted that she was living with a man she hated and hated herself for putting up with it. And for what!?

It’s safe to say that I truly enjoyed most of the stories. The entire book is a compelling read from start to finish. In “The Joy of Deception,” a woman gets a taste of her own medicine when she flees the security of a healthy, loving relationship—proof that karma always comes back to bite you in the ass. In “Main Street Grind,” a girl finally quits on her horrible boss—how good that must’ve felt. All in all, I loved how these characters find simple joy in an overwhelming, grueling, and hazardous life—that’s how it is! Like for me, joy is finding peace and quiet at the conclusion of a hectic day while leaning back with a good book in my hands. Like this one!

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