Saturday, December 6, 2008

Magic Happens-Cathy Corcoran

Magic Happens
Cathy Corcoran
iUniverse, Nov 2008, $16.95

Just outside Boston, former Raytheon cubicle mates, engineers Bob and George, open up their own firm B&G Enterprises in the Hingham Shipyard. Bob persuades his wife Kate to buy a million dollar plus home for them and their six years old daughter, but the firm failed to survive in time for its birthing; two months after his proclamation B&G was dead.

While Bob hides in his bed with growing depression, Kate brings in income as a public relations consultant that does not come close to paying off the credit card loans Bob took out or the mortgage. Being a recovering alcoholic who attended AA even before her spouse’s business collapse, Kate finds herself desperately needing a drink as the meetings no longer help. Needing to release her stress caused by the incredible debt and the wallowing in self pity undependable Bob, Kate joins the local gym that her friend took her too as that was cheaper than psychotherapy. To the shock of heterosexual Kate she wants her female drill instructor leading the aerobics Lou. While at work she has issues with her boss Alden at the Social Welfare League. Kate is in the middle of a major period of change.

This is an excellent character study as Cathy Corcoran provides an inspiring insightful look at a working suburban mom struggling with a world she no longer recognizes. First there is formerly dependable Bob in so a deep funk that he cannot get out of bed. Then there is her problem with Alden, which she can no longer walk away from as that job is the only source of income, making her feel trapped and in need of a drink. Finally there is Lou, who has Kate wondering if all these years she was a closet lesbian and not aware of it. Cutting across all is the money problem, as Lou puts it so eloquently “sh*t happens”, but Kate believes the corollary MAGIC HAPPENS too.

Harriet Klausner

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