Review of EMILY'S REASONS WHY NOT by Carrie Gerlach
William Morrow, August 2004
Hollywood publicist Emily Sanders is thirty years old and her clock is ticking. She visits a psychologist who suggests listing ten reasons why each of her relationships has failed. She resists, especially for those relationships she doesn't want to admit have really failed, are really over beyond any resurection, but she perseveres. The story is told in a combination of flashbacks during her counseling and present tense action as Emily recounts her disasters--with her boss's boss's boss (always a bad idea), the vacation guy, the straight-gay guy, the baseball player, the kid, the baseball player again, and the old guy.
Through it all, Emily's girlfriends, gay boyfriends, mutt-Sam, and Dr. D. stay by her, helping her learn to deal with her issues and learn to control the 'flutter-flutter' that drives so much of her (often inappropriate) behavior. In the meantime, she grows in her career, starts her own company, buys a house, but still longs for that one-on-one relationship.
Author Carrie Gerlach uses a breezy conversational style of writing. The short novel kept me glued to its pages--I read it in a single sitting. Although none of Emily's 'reasons why not' are likely to be eye-opening to any reader, the book is still funny and cute. It's a lot more fun than the latest self-help book and those probably don't have anything new in them either. I did find Sam's story moving and thought Gerlach handled it well, milking it for emotion without being maudlin. And how about that ending? Do you think Emily's flutter-flutter is acting up again?
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