Pick up 'Time Flies' and prepare to laugh
"Time Flies" is the latest chick lit novel from bestselling author Claire Cook, who also wrote "Must Love Dogs" and "Wallflower in Bloom." This book focuses on an event many people will be attending this summer: a high school reunion.
Cook tells the story of Melanie, newly divorced and mother of adult children, with humor, as the main character decides whether or not to go to the reunion, facing her fears and the past head on.
Melanie is an interesting character, something for which Cook is famous for writing. The novel begins with Melanie taking a chain saw to the bed she shared with her husband. Of course, she's angry with him for having an affair, but the reader soon discovers that Melanie is also destroying the bed for the coils and box spring; she needs the metal. She's an artist and welder who creates sculptures out of scrap metal, and she's starting to have some success with her art around Atlanta.
The ex-husband, Kurt, is as jerky as they come, but her two sons are ones that every mother could hope for. Melanie also faces anxiety issues when she tries to drive on the highway. So every time she goes somewhere, she has to find a way to arrive without driving on the highway — sometimes just passing by an exit will cause her to panic and cry.
Once readers meet dear Melanie and her quirkiness, emails fly back and forth between her and her best girlfriend in high school, who wants her to come to the reunion and will not take no for an answer, and Finn Miller, a guy she dated very briefly in high school who is also recently divorced.
Spurred on by revenge for her ex-husband's behavior, Melanie books her airline ticket and is off to Boston for a summer adventure.
Before she leaves, she meets Tom Brody, a restaurant owner (and single guy!), who purchased one of her sculptures for his restaurant. Eventually, after many funny scenes between Melanie and her girlfriends and some flirty emails and phone calls with the men, all three men collide in one way or another — Kurt, Tom and Finn — during the reunion.
One of the great parts about Cook's writing is her sense of humor. She can create hysterical scenes that could actually happen: They feel so real that they might have even happened to her. She also has a knack for expressing how women feel at various stages of their lives, so readers can easily connect with the main characters in her novels. This is true for "Time Flies," too.
Some of the scenes in the beginning of the novel when Melanie is by herself in her kitchen are laugh-out-loud funny. Readers will find themselves nodding their heads and remembering themselves in similar situations.
Cook's author story also is amazing. She didn't follow her dream of writing a novel until her mid-40s, when she wrote her first book in her minivan, waiting for her kids to finish sports practices. When she was 50, she walked the red carpet in Hollywood at the premiere of the adaptation of her second novel, "Must Love Dogs," starring Diane Lane and John Cusack.
She has 10 novels under her belt and is active on Facebook and Twitter, where she interacts with her readers.
"Time Flies" is the perfect novel to read on your summer vacation or while lounging by the pool.
And if you are attending a high school reunion? You might get a tip or two for how to handle an old crush.
Margo L. Dill is the author of "Finding My Place: One Girl's Strength at Vicksburg," a middle grade historical fiction novel. She often reviews books as a columnist for "WOW! Women On Writing" e-zine and her blog, "Margo Dill's Read These Books and Use Them" (http://margodill.com/blog/). She lives in St. Louis with her family.