What I’ve Read Lately

Book review Kelly Harms, The Overdue Life of Amy Byler

This contains a spoiler so be warned. The book, The overdue Life of Amy Byler written by Kelly Harms is a wonderful story about a woman whose estranged husband shows up after more than a year’s absence. She wonders what he wants. Does he want to take the children away? What does he want she worries? She discovers that what he wants is to take the kids for a weekend. She objects at first, but then decides that she can use the time to get some adult education hours and if she delivers a class she can go for free. The week end turns into the entire summer. At the expense of her estranged husband.

But she meets the wonderful, handsome and interesting librarian that thinks her idea for getting kids to read more and better by letting them choose their own reading level is great especially if they can think of a way to pay for it. So, they spend an evening brain storming and wake up the next morning after a wild night of sex. Of course, Amy is embarrassed and thinks this can’t possibly happen again and kicks her new lover out of her hotel room. But her magazine editor friend has plans for her that include a makeover and some speed dating at the expense of the magazine. In return the magazine will do an article about her. The result is several terrible dates and she can’t get the handsome librarian out of her mind. So, they meet and decide that there is no way they could ever be more that friends.

The summer is over and on their way home there is a phone call from her daughter’s swim coach and her daughter has hurt herself while diving and is at the hospital. So estranged husband and Amy rush to the hospital to discover that their daughter needs emergency brain surgery to relieve pressure on the brain estranged husband can’t decide, but Amy quickly sends husband to the waiting room and signs the paperwork to get the operation done. Then the best friend neighbor and the magazine editor friend and the handsome librarian all show up at the hospital.

The operation is a success: the handsome librarian and Amy learn to compromise and the world just got better for Amy Byler.

The point of this book is that the whole book is about learning to compromise and go with the flow sometimes. Amy felt like she couldn’t go with the flow because she was going with her kids flow and couldn’t find her own flow, but sometimes you need to put on your own face mask first. As a onetime single parent, I can tell you it’s important to consider your children’s needs, but it’s important to take care of your own needs too.

Let’s look at the first line of this novel.

            Dear Mom, so here’s the thing. And I know you’re going to make a big deal out of it

            Because you’re a mom and a nerd and you can’t help yourself.

That’s what this book is about. It’s about mom’s making everything into a big deal, because they simply can’t help themselves.

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