My reading interests have changed somewhat during these two months+ of sheltering in place. If you told me I had to read Crime and Punishment or Moby Dick, I think I would break down and cry. I don’t need deep thinking or meaningful literature; I need comedy or romance or if I’m feeling really spiffy, a good mystery.
Given this state of mind, I set aside some of the beefier books that I had downloaded from the library and began reading a book I had purchased some time ago dirt cheap because I liked the title. The Overdue Life of Amy Byler, by Kelly Harms, provided some fairly easy reading that contained a pretty good message.
Amy Byler hasn’t quite recovered from her husband and the father of her two kids — a girl teen and a boy ‘tween — leaving them without a thought of what would happen to them. Amy worked hard as a school librarian to keep the house where their family had lived since the beginning. With work and raising two kids all by herself, there is little time left for herself.
Then one day her husband shows up after being gone for three years, ready to forgive and forget, and eager to make up for lost time with his kids. He encourages Amy to attend a conference in New York City and connect up with her friend who lives there. And, what’s more, he gives her his credit card.
This leads to that which leads to an almost magical two weeks, in which she agrees to be part of her friend’s magazine article in what they are calling a Momspringa. A chance for overworked and tired and isolated mothers to take time for themselves. In this case, she receives almost a complete makeover, and a chance to see most of New York City without worrying about her kids.
The Overdue Life of Amy Byler offers readers a chance to dream about a life of luxury and indulgence. I can’t say that I could particularly relate to Amy’s life situation, but there are a lot of single mothers who definitely could. However, even for me, the book provided some laughs, a little romance, and a peek into how the other half lives in an exciting city.
The message to take away from this book, even for those of us who are not overworked parents, is that we all need time for ourselves.
The Overdue Life of Amy Byler was a fun and relaxing read. I enjoyed it very much.