Saturday, July 17, 2010
Hope In A Jar by Beth Harbison
Do you remember Bonne Bell Lipsmackers lip gloss, Body on Tap shampoo, Love’s Baby Soft perfume and Sun-In hair lightener?
Did you have posters of Shaun Cassidy and Leif Garrett on your bedroom walls, or were you a secret David Cassidy fan?
If you remember these things, you’re probably a baby-boomer, and you will probably absolutely adore Beth Harbison’s novel, “Hope In A Jar.”
With her twenty-year high school reunion looming, Allie Denty suddenly finds her life falling apart. She catches her boyfriend in bed with another woman (a homely woman at that), she’s overweight, and she wonders if life is passing her by. She was once the pretty girl at school, but now Allie just feels drab and unloved.
Her best friend from high school, Olivia Pelham, was the smart girl, kind of plain and mousy, but driven by a need to explore the world. Twenty years later, Olivia is the senior beauty editor at a major magazine, lives alone and wonders where the years went.
When their friend Noah persuades both of the girls to come to the reunion, the evening sets in motion a series of events that would lead to heartache, reconciliation, tragedy and forgiveness. And through it all, the three friends find that their friendship, while flawed for years, will ultimately see them through to a brighter future for everyone.
Youthful, painful secrets from the past and an agonizing situation in the present brings the story together for a satisfying and heartwarming conclusion.
Beth Harbison delivers a delightful story of friendship and romance with “Hope In A Jar.” Following Allie and Olivia from their seventh grade year through high school in alternating chapters, Harbison captures the youthful excitement and angst of their teenage years. In the present day chapters, she also presents the women as they remember back to their youth, and how they would do things differently if they could. And throughout the story, Harbison brings quotes from the advertisements of our youth to weave her story together.
So, grab a nice cold Shasta, smear on your favorite Lipsmacker, put on your 45 of “Da Do Run Run,” and sit back to enjoy “Hope In A Jar.”
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my opinion.