Sunday, January 31, 2016

No Ordinary Life by Suzanne Redfearn

Title: No Ordinary Life
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Format: Paperback; 400 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (February 2, 2016)
ISBN-10: 1455533904
ISBN-13: 978-1455533909
Author's Website:
Notes: I was given an eARC loan from the publisher for review purposes. Thank you.

Faye Martin is a down on her luck mother of three who has recently been abandoned by her husband. In the midst of her despair and struggle to make ends meet, a seemingly miraculous thing happens--her daughter is discovered by the world via a YouTube video. Soon a major talent scout is knocking on their door and four year old Molly is on her way to becoming a star. It looks like Faye's prayers have been answered, but she soon discovers that fame and fortune come at a cost. As she sees the darker, uglier side of Hollywood, she'll have to decide if she can make things work, or if the price of fame and fortune is just too high to pay to let her child stay in the spotlight.
This was a book I thoroughly enjoyed reading. What little girl hasn't dreamed of becoming a star? I remember wishing I could be the next Shirley Temple, but alas, I didn't have her talent nor ever got discovered. *sigh* Over the years, however, we've seen newspapers and magazines articles about how child stars have a hard time making the adjustment to the real world once their fame and fortune dwindles. While Shirley Temple managed to do well for herself, many fall victims to drugs, suicide, and criminal activities. That is what this story hits upon and begs the questions--what can a parent do to protect their child in such a world?

Molly is a talented sweet kid, but her stardom doesn't just affect her, it affects her whole family. That's something Molly's mom soon comes to realize. While Faye is a loving mother who has a good heart, she has a habit of making poor choices. While she manages to gain a back bone by the end of the book, her habit of making poor choices doesn't seem to wane. That, in my eyes, is one of the things that makes this book such a wonderful book club read. The controversy over what she does, what others do, and how everything is handled is bound to lead to some fun discussions.

Overall, I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses. It was fast paced, conjuring images that you can clearly picture in your mind. The characters were believable and well developed. I loved little Molly and sympathized with Faye. Raising a child is not easy, but raising one up in the limelight would be even more so. There are so many things I'd love to talk about that I wish I had read this with the rest of my real life book club. I'd say more, but I'd be delving into spoiler territory. I'll seriously consider this one when its my turn to pick a book.

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