Your Roots Are Showing by Elise Chidley

“The fact remains that I’ve been living in a bit of a dream world.  I had this idea I could make some money out of my nonsense verses, but as it turns out I’d probably have to pay to get them published.  No, I need to sort myself out, one way or another.  I’ve got to start bringing home the bacon. I’m on my own now.”
– Lizzie Buckley, Your Roots Are Showing

 

After separating from her husband Lizzie Buckley and her three-year-old twins settle into a ramshackle house, complete with fixer upper garden, and wait for James to come to his senses and reconcile with his family. The wait is longer than she expects and so Lizzie has to come to terms with her marriage and the seemingly silly cause of its demise (she sent James an e-mail meant for her sister,  venting about marriage, motherhood, and James himself) and reevaluates what she wants from her life so that she can get back some of the person she lost when she started raising a family. Along the way she meets a meddling yet well meaning neighbor who throws hunky ex-finance guy turned gardener Bruno into the mix leaving us to wonder who Lizzie will end up with.

I was looking forward to a fun and light-hearted read, and it was that and a whole lot more. Chidley strikes the balance between humor and providing a real glimpse into the life of a woman dealing with the  postpartum and identity issues that can come with the birth of a child and in Lizzie’s case, children. Lizzie was a real person struggling with her self-esteem and weight issues (with her therapist, whom I loved), trying to cope with her children and their behavior issues stemming from the upheaval in their home life, and coming to terms with the factors that were the real issues in her marriage to James. The secondary characters were interesting as well, and I loved the relationship that Lizzie had with Tessa, her best friend who has been trying to get pregnant, but without success. I also really like the variety of different ways roots came up in the book as in hair color and in origins.

I recommend this book for those who like their chick-lit with a little extra. Usually I am confident in how the story is going to end, but this one had some surprises, and I wasn’t at all certain by the end, but would have felt satisfied with any of the direction I saw it going. The end, when it came was swift and neat, but I think that’s par for the course.

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