Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Hard Way-Julie Luongo

The Hard Way
Julie Luongo
Forge, May 2008, $13.95
ISBN: 0765316676

In 1990 with the death of the family Venier’s patriarch, the three female survivors, his wife and two daughters, cope differently. His spouse Margaret finds a new love Eli; his oldest daughter the married pharmacist Nancy lights candles every night; his younger offspring by almost two decades Lucy returns to journalism school.

A few years later, Lucy graduates from college. She seeks contentment in her chosen writing career and her personal relationships. However Lucy finds little happiness in terms of deciding between becoming a big city crime beat reporter, working the Web where the future lies, or following the money into advertising. On her love front, she goes through men like potato chips Over time Lucy and Nancy, somewhat estranged due to their age difference and their reaction to their dad’s death begin to reconcile and then there is another second chance with Ben. Lucy may have found that elusive butterfly of life in the normally tragic third act as she wisely understands that people support those they care about even if that means acting as a compassionate bridesmaid.

In a way this is more a series of vignettes of a coming of age young woman whose choices at times hurt her, but she is the epitome of the Sinatra tune, That’s Life: “Each time I find myself, flat on my face, I pick myself up and get back in the race.” Readers will appreciate this wonderful character study that is a deep chick lit tale in which Lucy finds her groove THE HARD WAY, but her way.
Harriet Klausner

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