Friday, March 15, 2013

Diana Brandmeyer's A Mind of Her Own

By Diana Lesire Brandmeyer

Tyndale House Publishing
© December 2012
ISBN 978-1-4143-8103-9 (Apple); ISBN 978-1-4143-8102-2 (ePub); ISBN 978-1-4143-8101-5 (Mobi)

e-Book $6.39

From the back:

Who knew making dinner could change your life? Louisa Copeland certainly didn’t. But when the George Foreman grill fell out of the pantry onto her head, resulting in a bump and a mighty case of amnesia, Louisa’s life takes a turn for the unexpected. Who was this Collin fellow, claiming she was his wife? And whose kids are those? Her name couldn’t be Louisa. Why, she was the renowned romance writer Jazz Sweet, not a Midwestern mom of three. Struggling to put the pieces together of the life she’s told she had, Louisa/Jazz may realize that some memories are better left alone.

My review:

Brandmeyer’s tale of a woman who’s spent her entire life hiding in plain sight from a decades-long secret she couldn’t make anyone understand. When a fortuitous bump on the head gives Louisa Copeland’s inner drama queen an opportunity to come and play, the whole Copeland family: overworked husband Collin, children Tim, Joey and Madison, along with Louisa, learn how precious the bonds of love and faith should be. 

Stay-at-home mom Louisa has another personality, Jazz Sweet, single romance writer, who’s been locked away. After her accident, Collin goes out of his way, not always graciously, to get his wife back, even when he finds Jazz a little more exciting than Louisa. Louisa, as Jazz, gets an opportunity to learn about her kids and husband, her life, from an objective point of view. She acts out the real hang-ups, pet peeves, and the child side of herself she never lets out to play, showing Collin that her life was not all perfect. When he finds and reads her journals, he finally understands what life has been like from his wife’s side. He becomes every wife’s dream husband, and when Louisa relives the trauma that set off her bout of amnesia, they work together to save their family.

Nicely done in the voices of Louisa, her alter-ego Jazz, and Collin, Brandmeyer never quite lets her characters get out of control, although you just know they’d like to. The children are typical big sister and little brothers annoying; Collins wants to make partner at the law firm, and Louisa is just lost, colorless, without intimate friends, virtually orphaned and completely without hope or faith at the start of the story. Jazz livens her up, and although she finds her faith she is still lost in her own life; a life that comes with a husband she doesn’t recall but is strangely attracted to, but a housewife’s role she has no interest in. 

The ending comes a bit too neatly and quickly, but the journey there was a pleasant and intriguing ride. What would Jazz do next? And how would the neighbors and her family react? That was great fun. Who wouldn’t want the chance to fall in love all over again?

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