I came across this book by chance on GoodReads and was intrigued by the catchy title and cute cover. I read it to wind down for the Christmas holidays – a great choice.
It’s a witty, observant and poignant story of how financial consultant Lucy Tuttle, about to hit the big 3 0, comes to terms with the loss of her only relative, a much-loved, unconventional aunt. The late Aunt Maren is a little like the aunt in Graham Greene’s wonderful “Travels with my Aunt” but in New York in the 21st century. In doing so, she discovers much about herself that she never realised or dared to recognise, having for so long sought comfort and distraction in financial-led safety mechanisms, such as counting to her favourite high number to calm her nerves.
The characters and settings are well drawn. Indeed, the whole book is well written, with realistic conversation, atmospheric description and scene-setting and a plausible, likeable narrator.
I’d recommend it to anyone who is:
(a) recently bereaved (having been widowed some years ago, I found this a touching, realistic portrait of the grieving process)
(b) approaching 30 – or any other big birthday – and having a crisis about where they’re going with their lives
(c) worried about her biological clock and not sure what it’s telling them
(d) interested in the New York City lifestyle
(e) in need of a simple, good, entertaining contemporary story about modern life
Although I’m old enough to be the heroine’s mother (yikes!), this book rang lots of bells with me and made me think about my own life choices (about which I’m currently very happy, I should add!)
Incidentally, the parallel to Graham Greene’s great book never entered my head till I started writing this review, and I’m not suggesting for a moment that The Sock Wars is derivative or imitative. But there are lots of pleasing similarities,including a very satisfying ending that will have you punching the air with delight.
A very good start for this new young American writer who is definitely one to watch.
Find out more about Maia Sepp at her website www.maiasepp.com, where there are also details of how to order it in various e-book formats.