Book Review: The Temp by Michelle Frances

temp 1Looking for suspenseful stories with strong female characters who are not breathing down each other’s neck all the time, Michelle Frances’ The Temp is for you.

For me, the main attraction of this book is its cover (a lady working on her laptop at a workplace) and the title. Not only that, I also like the synopsis. (Side note: I always go through the synopsis to get a little insight about the story before purchasing a book.)

Apparently, it appears a thriller with undertones of domestic drama where talented young woman is looking to replace a successful older woman. The narrative is told from the perspectives of two women: Carrie and Emma who have different views of each other but there is one constant in their life, Adrian, of course for different reasons.

Carrie, in her 40s, has a successful career as a producer of television programmes. She comes across a very strong, confident and smart lady in her domain. Her husband Adrian is also an award winning screenwriter in the television industry. They are content in their professional and personal lives but life takes an unusual turn which completely jolts them.

As a couple, Carrie and Adrian decide not to have children; primarily because they both want to focus on their career. However, fate has something else stored for them; Carrie gets pregnant and the problem arises when she chooses to keep the baby, and this puts her relationship with her husband off balance.

Moreover, they are prepared to start a new show which needs time and with this pregnancy, Adrian and her friend as well as managing director of Hawks Pictures Liz suggest to hire a replacement for few months. This is where Emma enters as a temp who is intelligent; and despite coming from a well off family, she has always struggled to be the daughter on whom her parents can be proud of. What is interesting is that Carrie never wants Emma to be employed as her replacement.

the tempBeing pregnant, Carrie cannot stay in the office for long duration due to pain and dizziness. Insanity and jealousy run rampage on Carrie’s part especially when Adrian, Liz and everyone in the office are all praise about Emma’s work.  The last nail in the coffin for Carrie is the birth of her newborn baby boy Rory. Her baby keeps her busy all the time and since she has no support from Adrian, she begins to drift away from her husband and her colleagues. As a consequence, she feels isolated and subconsciously put all the blame on Emma. Carrie does not realise that this is all work of her creative mind (pun intended).

British-based author Frances has established herself as a mature, knowing and new voice in the genre of psychological thriller with her bestseller The Girlfriend. Her debut novel took on the issues of unforgiveable lies and twisted relationships. Her second book deals with the relationships caught in the crossfire of all scheming and manipulation.

I do understand that the author has shown some sort of conflict between two female protagonists. Also, the book cover gives an impression to the reader of Emma being conniving who wants to usurp Carrie’s life, which is why both women will compete over Carrie’s husband Adrian. Clearly, this is not all! The book offers much more to the reader’s delight.

If you want to read full review, the link is https://www.dawn.com/news/1471385

 

 

 

Book Review: Dance Upon the Air-a tale of love, friendship and mysterious ways!

dance upon the airLove story isn’t my cup of tea and Nora Roberts is famous for writing love stories. I remembered buying her novel in last year’s book fair where I accidentally bought this one.

Dance Upon the Air is the first ever novel which I read out of her so many novels and I must say she knows how to grasp the reader’s attention. This novel is a treat for all those readers who are into romance.

Helen Remington is the main protagonist of this novel who died so she could live. She was married to the media mogul Evan Remington. On the outside they both looked a regular happy couple but nobody knew that this was just a facade to conceal the physical torture which Helen was going through in her marriage. Evan was a control freak person who used to abuse his wife, Helen for everything. She eventually realized that if she wanted to survive she had to leave, however, as easy as it seem; it was not easy for her to leave this man. Not because she had an affection for him but because he was an influential person and could twist situation easily in his favor. Hence she had to stage up her death to escape away from her psychotic husband.

After her fake death, she changed her identity and became Nell. She reached to Three Sisters Island where she met Mia who owned a cafe in this small island and on that day her chef left the job.  So fortunately Nell got a job as a chef and also a place to stay.

Living in this island was a dream come true for Nell. She also discovered that she was a witch with the help of Mia. She also learnt that she is part of an ancestry of the three witches who formed the island as a hideout from the Salem witch trials three hundred years ago. Now, with impending doom, the three witches alive must do what their ancestors couldn’t. Ripley Todd, the deputy sheriff also lived in this island who is the third witch in this scenario.

During her stay, Nell got close to Ripley’s brother, Sheriff Zackary Todd but when he proposed her she was not ready to get married only because she hadn’t got divorced from her abusive husband.

Evan got to about Helen when his sister told him about her acquaintance who assumed to see Helen’s lookalike in the Island. He knew at the moment that his wife tricked him and he got furious. He is not only now an abusive man, but he is also being possessed by the evil spirit bent on destroying Nell.

Meanwhile,  Nell finds the courage to trust Zack, and contact authorities that would protect her from her psychotic husband. Nevertheless, a week after  Zack and Nell engagement, Evan lands on the Island, and starts searching for his wife. He did find her and went to her cottage with the intention of murder.

In the end, Nell with the help of her witch sisters Mia and Ripley saved herself and Zack who got wounded by Evan’s violent stab.

Dance Upon the Air reads more like the journey of a damaged woman who tried to run away from abusive relationship. The mark of such relationship leaves an acerbic impact on victim’s life. Just like for Nell, it took a year for her to regain her self-esteem. She realized after coming to this Island that this is the life which she thought she should have lived.

The novel is the first series of the trilogy which are followed by other two series, Heaven and Earth and Face the Fire.

Happy Reading Everyone!

Details:

Genre: Fiction

Publishing Date: June 2001

Pages: 386  

Paperback