Monday, January 20, 2020

Donna Has Left The Building

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon):  From the beloved, New York Times-bestselling author of Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress comes a hilarious, timely, and big-hearted new novel about rebuilding life in the face of disaster.

Forty-five-year-old Donna Koczynski is an ex-punk rocker, a recovering alcoholic, and the mother of two teenagers whose suburban existence detonates when she comes home early from a sales conference in Las Vegas to the surprise of a lifetime. As her world implodes, she sets off on an epic road trip to reclaim everything she believes she's sacrificed since her wild youth: Great friendship, passionate love, and her art. But as she careens across the U.S. from Detroit to New York to Memphis to Nashville, nothing turns out as she imagines. Ultimately, she finds herself resurrected on the other side of the globe, on a remote island embroiled in a crisis far bigger than her own.

Irresistibly funny, whip-smart, and surprisingly moving, DONNA HAS LEFT THE BUILDING spins an unforgettable tale about what it means to be brave -- and to truly love -- in a tumultuous world.

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Donna Has Left The Building is a great book about self-discovery during what I would call a mid-life crisis.  I was a little stunned by what Donna does to her husband, only because I don't recall reading a book with such a strong character.  However, he did have it coming! I really enjoyed going on the journey with Donna  and had some laughs along the way.

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  I would love to read other books Susan Jane Gilman.  I love the titles of her books.  Her next book I would like to read is Kiss My Tiara.

Susan Jane Gilman, a native New York writer known for combining sharp wit with lyrical pathos, is the bestselling author of three nonfiction books: "Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven," "Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress" and "Kiss My Tiara," plus the novel, "The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street." Her second novel, "Donna Has Left the Building," arrives June 4, 2019, from Grand Central Publishing, and can be pre-ordered now. 

Gilman has written for the New York Times, the L.A. Times, Real Simple, and Ms. magazine among others, been a contributor to NPR's "All Things Considered," and won literary awards for her journalism and short fiction. She was also the recipient of a "Golden Earphones" Award for her Audiobook recording of "The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street."

She once told an interviewer: "I never set out to write books that made people laugh. My main love has always been literary fiction. However, even with my darkest work, people always tell me that parts of it are funny. This used to annoy me because I aspired to be an American Dostoevsky with Breasts.

Yet when I was living in Washington DC, I took a writers’ workshop at the Bethesda Writers’ Center. The first story I submitted was a heartbreaking tale of a man’s addiction, which impressed the class. The second was an absurd story about mistaken identity full of Jews, Rastafarians, lesbians, and dental hygienists. To my great irritation, the class liked this one infinitely more. After class, a man pulled me aside. 'I have to tell you,' he said. 'My wife has been battling breast cancer. I read her your story last night, and it was the first time in two years she really laughed. You’ve got a gift. Please don’t ignore it. Not everyone can make a sick woman laugh in her hospital bed.' That’s when I finally saw the merit in my own, lurking smart-ass and stopped fighting it."

Although she currently resides primarily in Switzerland, her heart and her feet are never far from her homeland.

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