Monthly Archives: December 2009
Kate Cavanaugh needs primal-scream therapy on speed dial. As a high school guidance counselor at Allen B. Shepard High School in Boston, she has more questions about life and love than she has answers. Kyle and Kate Cavanaugh and three kids are the typical American nuclear family that implode on the death of dad. Now, four Americans find themselves lost in an uncertain space. Kate suits up for the ride of her life. And must keep what’s left of her family.
Americans in Space opens just after Kate finds her husband has stopped breathing in their bed. He was just 42. She blames herself and her kids blame her too. After his death, Kyle is a festive, hungry ghost. He’s not really there to haunt, rather a radio-like frequency inside Kate’s head. She often tunes into her favorite things where she can hear his voice and feel his smile that comes complete with sound advice.
Mary Mitchell’s Kate Cavanaugh is the main character in this novel. She hates change, but needs to fall in love again fast. Her daughter Charlotte is a student who attends Shepard High School where they try to avoid each other. Her daughter and the school however becoming unwitting accomplices in Kate’s evolution. Kate needs to evolve. Why? Because she marries right out of college. She shuns manicured nails, chic career, late-night partying in Boston and designer duds for a home in Appleton, where one home looks much like the other. In this home, life for the kids borders on neglectful. Her teenage daughter does not help and does what teens do best–guilt-tripping up mom.
The first few chapters set the stage: we know Kate is a widow; we know who her best friends are and where she lives, loves and plays. Shepard High is the stage where the reader expects daily drama to unfold and we are not disappointed. Mitchell chauffeurs the reader through the daily grind of hormone alley where teens hang out in the hallway holding virtual signs that read “I’m available f or mischief.”
This is what I like most about the book–it is a fictional primer for parents who are afraid to look under the bed, afraid of intruding on the unwritten “privacy” laws of adolescence. Exactly where does a parent or guardian draw the line in cyberspace? Not easy to err on the side of caution where it concerns a child.
Mitchell may not be the first writer to openly debate the question but her voice is a soothing one, thus making her novel a must-read for squeamish parents of tech-savvy teens. Teens are smarter than the average parent. They often intuit then make gut-level decisions that are spot on. But will mom or dad listen to the young voices of reason? And when those voices and notes spell out ads that trumpet upcoming misdeeds, not heeding makes for deadly mistakes that cannot be undone. And the only way of catching the acts, before they happen, often occur in a safe harbor like a novel. We want to read the book and love the people in it–if and only if the creator of these characters breathes life into them. On this score, the author delivers. Her warmth as a writer translates well on the printed page. We care about her fiction because she cares about her craft.
The second half of the novel’s 291 pages captures Kate’s shifting sands of the heart. Will she or won’t she connect with one of the two men vying for her attention? Or will she run away? When the sand settles into a careful colorful Buddhist mandala that Kate reads–its message surprises her. The inflexibility is gone with the guilt and self-loathing. She is innocent of ruining her life and that of her family. She understands that it is far easier to accept human frailty than it is to deconstruct and rebuild it without written or expressed consent.
This book is a great cold-day-airport-wait kinda friend to have on hand because it is a well-paced, interesting, funny, and lovely read. I enjoyed every page, line and chapter of this modern novel and road map which divines a diverse landscape and the shared misgivings that await parents in the 21st century. My only criticism is that while this novel combines the chaos of Kate’s personal and professional life I expected more grit and angst from inside the halls of Shepard High…I also wanted more pages to read. But that’s a good thing. On the other, hand Americans In Space is one author’s wonderful take inside the parental beltway.
When I posted that link re JFK photo earlier I had not seen the photo. It was not photoshopped but superimposed. So both photos are untouched but do not belong together.
When JFK was there he had a private situation with one woman. He also looked for a place to buy there but was too expensive.
At link find photo authenticated of JFK on boat with nude women in 1930s. He was probably nude too. Jack was senator then.
This and more well documented in my journals. They need to keep digging cause we took the blue train to the French riveria too. One of my most vivid memories.
This trip to Chicago through airport security was uneventful save for frakin body pat down and wanding. WTF? I got searched and pat down but no one searched a black african on a visa? Damn how many times do I have to tell you those are the very WTFuckers who blew up twin towers.
So I got pat down but they did not even touch that black sob?
I know Obama can’t control his Nigerian family let alone all the black nigerians in Nigeria but can’t the gov at least search and profile and keep out these student visa parasites? Or at least search them and not me!!
Like most twenty-somethings I was reckless and impulsive. In that spirit posed nude-lite one day in Hyde Park studio. I have never seen the nudes side poses really with tummy face down but would luv to see them.
Nudity must also be a dream archetype because when or before I began blogging for dollars (read readers) I would have these really vivid dreams about being out in public naked.
What does that mean? I am not famous as I know that has a high cost. And many famous blacks U never heard of did make it then died young.
Oh well maybe Oprah won’t call after all but in the meantime would luv to locate me nude.
Another gay Jew thinks he can s#*+ Tiger’s stick is wrong. The whole world now knows how much Rich would love to be alone with either Tiger or Obama. He probably uses their pics to fall asleep or when he is with his man covers his face with the image of Tiger or Obama.
He is one cunning creature.
His op ed hit piece on Tiger seeks to emasculate black men while whitewashing the dirtiest evil one man could do. Steal billions and spend it on his own black lust. Madoff is the man of the year Rich. You got that wrong too.
Tiger is hardly person of the year. Rich turns Tiger into Hitler and Obama into the death camps. We know jews are the masters of propaganda media. And when 2 black men fly out of a jew’s orbit he goes ballistic.
At least another jew Kaufman took him down with a blog at huffpo.
I am so sick of faggot jew men almost as sick of them as black successful men marrying butt ugly white women.
Hitler missed that rich jew.
You know Rich’s jewish parents just missed the last train to Treblinka. Too bad. I m no Holocaust denier.
Susan and Tim have split after 23 years. I saw her recently in a movie or something and thought how good she looks for 62 or so. She had work but really looks young. And I kept getting the feeling they broke up. I was right. He looks too old for her now.
No results for a while. But per protocol an autopsy has been conducted. The leading cause of death in her age group is unintentional injury. That would include things such as accidental overdode and eating disorders.
I am going to watch the real 8 1/2 on streaming Netflix tonight. I just read some reviews at Rotten Tomatoes and Nine is about a 1, really.
I love reading the bad reviews. They are probably better than the damn movie. While I love Daniel Day Lewis he does not need to be playing an Italian playboy. God, couldn’t they get some damn Italians to act and dance in this movie? No, because Hollywood thinks that you must have some white ass woman like Nicole Kidman to sell seats.
How wrong they fuckin are. Look at Slumdog. Not a white person or blonde woman in it and it was fabulous. I think they are now making vehicles and not movies so that old actors who need to retire or stay home can add another flic to their belt. I was going to see Nine and Avatar too, but hell no I am not going to waste my money. I hope neither wins a damn award this year.
TMZ has a new format that includes a segment called Jew or not a Jew. They are spoofing Heloise when she dishes who is a Jew or not a Jew. I have been doing that for some time now as anyone who checks out my blog archives. But this is a new feature on TMZ that I just noticed in the past few weeks. I have only started recording their show. So if I am wrong let me know.
It ‘s funny. I use the name and the face or do a little research if not sure. Usually I am right. Daniel Day Lewis is the last person I wrote about. He’s a Jew they included him in the last segment.
I think it is a regular feature. Cute, Levin is making fun of himself and can laugh at being a Jew.