Skirt: So, Kohl's
Shoes: Sea Star, Brigantine
Necklace: The Tote Trove
Sunglasses: The Tote Trove
Breaking news: I made a fresh batch of candy bow barrettes! But first things first with a book review.
I recently read a novel called Amy Falls Down, by Jincy Willett. Now, I had never heard of Ms. Willett, which means that I received this book as a gift and that it falls into the great uncharted territory of my reading list, which is to say that it is not a) a comedian autobiography or b) chick lit. (Having read up on Willett since, I'm certain that she'd snort at the thought.) That said, Amy Falls Down is about Amy (obvi), an esteemed but obscure and near-reclusive sixty-something writer whose greatest flaw is that she overthinks everything. Case in point: she once almost drowned because she couldn't decide on a clever enough way to call for help. Furthermore, despite teaching a fiction writing workshop, Amy hasn't written anything in decades. The action starts on New Year's Day when Amy is in her backyard disposing of a tree gifted to her by her students and falls and hits her head on a birdbath. She doesn't go to the hospital because hospitals scare her. Instead, she dons a crazy-colored caftan and gives a (scheduled) newspaper interview to a girl reporter fond of enthusiasm and purple prose. The next day, Amy can't remember the interview, which freaks her out just enough to make her forget her phobia of medical attention. So she sets off for the ER. There she meets a homeless woman clutching a newspaper who says, "Hey, it's you!" (or similar). Amy grabs the newspaper only to see her own interview in print. And it's a doozy! Having been somewhat unhinged in her sub-concussed state, she apparently spun a yarn like no other. She is soon seen by a doctor (an amateur novelist with a sound sense of humor who proclaims her to be just fine), then goes home where she's barraged by phone calls from her old agent. This heralds a media feeding frenzy (or at least the lit world's equivalent) that will, as they say, change her life forever. Reluctantly, Amy embarks on an odyssey of radio shows, readings, and TV panels, her wicked wit waxing ever sharper with each appearance. Although not quite a case of the old pride goeth before a fall, post-tumble Amy is forced to admit (or at least feel, as this broad admits nothing) that she's been letting fear hold her back. As if in response, she starts writing again and spends more time with her writing students, a motley crew of misfits who, she realizes, aren't so bad after all.
Wry and irreverent, Amy is the kind of eccentric anti-hero I always root for. Hers is essentially a story of accidents and how even the worst ones can enrich our lives. Although I'm from the everything-happens-for-a reason school of thought, I can still get on board with the story's central message, which is (say it with me now), don't let fear get the best of you. Because although sometimes dark and disturbing, Amy Falls Down is ultimately optimistic in the way it champions the power of change.
In other words, Amy falls down . . . but she eventually gets back up again.
So, why did I team this book review with these candy barrettes? Partly because Amy wore a candy-colored (heretofore "crazy-colored") caftan when she gave her epic interview and (presumably) because she ate lots of candy given her laissez-faire attitude toward nutrition. Partly because I like to keep you guessing. Perhaps a better question is this: Why did I pair Amy with Barbie, a woman (?) who, for all of her squillions of outfits, has, as far as I know, never worn a caftan-slash-muumuu?
Because I'm a blogger of contradictions, that's why.