By Kate Bracy
Dystel & Goderich Literary Management, $11.99, 342 pages
Life is hard. If there is one universal truth, that is it. For all of its joys and excitement, life is HARD. But, in spite of this, life is also beautiful, filled with connections and relationships and experiences that keep us plowing through the hard times, looking ahead to the next revelatory, weightless moment. Kate Bracy’s heartfelt novel That Crazy Little Thing explores both the joys and heartbreaks of life through the story of Melanie Davis, a middle-aged single mother dealing with a frustrating teen daughter and a personal life that has seen better days.
Melanie’s life is given a bit of excitement when the kind doctor for whom she works begins a passionate email relationship with a woman from his past with whom he was never able to share his true feelings. But the excitement of Melanie’s vicarious romance is disrupted when her best friend Donna is diagnosed with ovarian cancer. As she helps her friend make it through chemo, works to rebuild her relationship with her daughter, and snoops in her boss’ emails, Melanie—and Bracy—teaches us a lesson about love and its significance in our lives.
That Crazy Little Thing is an unabashedly sentimental novel, perhaps even a women’s novel, but without the sugary falseness that coats far too many tales about women and their relationships with each other, with their families and with men. Bracy’s characters ring true. They speak with authentic voices and true emotions. They are believable, and they all have something to teach one another about love, life and humanity. If only we could all be so lucky while trekking down this crazy, difficult little road called life.
Reviewed by Ashley McCall