Monday, January 21, 2013

Book review- Is This All There Is by Patricia Mann

When I first started reading the book Is This All There Is by Patricia Mann,  I thought I would not be able to make a connection to this story. The plot is about a 35 year old married mommy of 2 little boys whose marriage is hitting a plateau. The main character Beth is hungry for attention, affection, and an overall need to feel wanted. Once I really got into the first couple of chapters I realized, isn't that what all women yearn for? A man to look at them the way they did when the "courting phase" first began? A man to have hunger in his eyes when he looked her way? A man that was genuinely interested in what she did that day, and not just what the kids did that day? As the story progressed I found myself understanding Beth more and more.

Then a young hot former student enters Beth's life right when she has hit the lowest of lows in the need of feeling wanted. He, of course, shows her the very attention and affection that she has been yearning for. Problem is Beth actually debates if she could have an affair with this young thing and how much of herself will be sucked into this world of secrets and lies.

One thing I really love about this story is one, the author does an outstanding job at describing the feelings that as women we all want. Secondly, Beth has two friends that she uses as her confidants. One is encouraging her to have a little something- something on the side. She convinces Beth that she  deserves to be happy and if her husband is not providing that happiness, then she has the right to look elsewhere. Of course, this friend is cheating on her husband herself. Then there is the second friend. The one that supports Beth with everything else in life, like balancing being a mom, a wife, a working woman, and a woman who still needs a social life outside of play dates. This friend is the more positive influence and when Beth tries to confide in her about the affair, the friend highly discourages those feelings.

I thought Is This All There Is touches on the issues women have everyday. After babies are born we lose our once svelte figures, we begin to live for the new life we brought into the world, and seem to forget ourselves. I found the topic a refreshing one and was rooting for Beth and her husband  to find their way back to each other. Great job Patricia Mann on writing a heartfelt book that many women can relate to.
"Is this all there is?" It’s a question every wife and mother eventually finds herself asking and thirty-five year old Beth Thomas is no exception. On the surface, her life is perfect. She’s married to her college sweetheart, has two beautiful little boys, and enjoys her part-time teaching appointment at the local university. But when a friend persuades Beth to go dancing on a rare night out, a chance meeting with twenty-one year old Dave, one of her former students, changes the course of her life. Loud music, too much to drink, and the thrill of feeling young again lead to an unforgettable kiss that was never supposed to happen. Beth tries to leave the memory behind, but Dave convinces her that he fell in love with her while he was in her class. As he continues to pursue her, he forces her to look at everything in her life through a different lens and the temptation of what he’s offering becomes too strong.

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