Friday, September 21, 2007

Odd Mom Out-Jane Porter

Odd Mom Out
Jane Porter
5 Spot, Sep 2007, $13.99
ISBN: 9780446699235

In Seattle Marta Zinsser has always ignored convention and just fitting in. Instead Marta prefers not just thinking out of the box, but breaking the comfort confinement that the box provides to those who hide inside it. Her independence has led to her owning a somewhat successful advertising firm.

However, single mother Marta has one gorilla problem that worries her. Her ten-year-old daughter, Eva, a product of a sperm bank withdrawal, wants to fit in with her peers at school, but her mom is the antithesis of the other parents. Whereas the other mothers dress in feminine garb, Marta wears combat boots. Feeling hemorrhoids and ulcers coming on if she has to join the stereotype motherhood society Marta still tries for compromise and even begins dating again. However, all this sidebar efforts of motherhood and dating in search of pleasing others tires Marta and suddenly impacts her business.

Marta turns ODD MOM OUT into a deep character study that focuses on personal and professional relationships that require comprise to achieve consensus and that there is only 24 hours in a day with sleep as a detractor so juggling everything means dropping some things. Hopefully the person selectively chooses to dump minor items. Fully developed characters Marta and Eva share an interesting mother-daughter relationship as the older Zinsser prefers being different while the younger needs to belong (the antithesis of the chip off the old block). Readers will appreciate the Zinsser females in conflict seeking compromise as both learn you can’t do everything to please others.

Harriet Klausner

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