Snap, Cackle and Pop: A Book Review

Title: Snap, Cackle and Pop 

Author: Carol Kearney


Publishers
: Wallace Publishing


Genre
: Fiction, Romance, Comedy, Chicklit

Synopsis

Carol Kearney’s book packs in a lot of cackle through the story of a fifty-something woman, recently cheated on and dumped by her husband. The readers follow Cathy, from her denial to heartbreak to a breakdown, pulling herself from the dumps to rebuild her life. Inspite of dealing with a serious subject like a breakup, it is a laugh riot from the beginning to end with funny situations and fantastically wierd characters populating Cathy’s life.

Review

Cathy, a fifty- four year old woman, used to the good life and wallowing in perceived domestic bliss gets a rude jolt when her husband leaves her without any warning.

This triggers something in her and she goes on a rampage, burning her husband’s belongings. Cathy turns rude, snappy, vengeful as she tracks down what made Tom leave her.

Losing her house and car and left with no money, Cathy has no option but to take refuge in her parents’ house, the home she grew up in. The fact that her family is wierd, dysfunctional, eye popping ridiculous and hilarious seems to push Cathy more and more into despair.

Jane, her bestie, steps in to help Cathy salvage her life. Cathy goes on a dating spree with disastrous results. Cathy  stumbles through a number of boyfriends, takes shots at numerous lowly jobs and embarassing alcoholic scenes before she decides that she needs to take charge and get her life back on track. 

Back on track it does get, with a redemption for all the unexpectedly bad things that happen to her. Cathy rises: shining, avenged and loved through a series of exaggerated misadventures that had me in fits of laughter.

The situations that Cathy finds herself in are laughable. I cannot forget Cathy’s supermarket trip with a huge magnet in her underclothes that leads to some very magnetizing and funny attractions. Louise and her doctor friend’s Christmas visit was so very socially embarassing and outrageous.

Even more lovable are the characters who are etched very well and sound so real because of their flaws.

My favourite would be Joan, Cathy’s mother who comes a close second to the other silly literary mother, Mrs. Bennett of Pride and Prejudice. Joan is foolish, loud, irreverent and yet immensely wise in bits and starts.

Pop is wonderful and his conversations with his wife are very funny. He mixes up the dog’s name so frequently that I looked forward to what he would come up next. 

I might be supposed to condone Cathy’s incarcerated brother Steven, but all I felt was glee whenever he came on the scene. 

Jane is the hot, independent, smart, loyal friend who acts as a sounding board to Cathy’s moanings and helps bring out some of the absurdities of Cathy’s life.

The dialogue is very good. It flows smoothly, complimenting the characters. The language is contemporary, sharp, witty. I was on my toes, looking up the words that turned out to exaggerate the already comical events.

Cathy lets go of everything, including her manners and sometimes sanity when duped by life and that is what makes the book so real and endearing.

In the beginning of the book, I had a few issues with Cathy’s judgement of the situation that she finds herself in. Cheated on and abandoned by her husband of many years, Cathy thinks herself to be a bad wife, one who has let herself go. She also has a body image issue which I felt reinforced stereotypes.

There is this bemoaning of the fact that her husband left her after 38 years of marriage. At the time of the events of the story, Cathy is 53 going on 54… Which makes them marry when she is 15!! Later we find out that they married when she turned 26.

Till the middle of the book and a little beyond, Cathy is complaining and unable to come to grips with her new found situation. She lurches from one disaster to another and this feels like it goes on for too long. 

I wish the cover of the book were designed a little more thoughtfully. The colours and the graphics are jarring.

The author of the book, Carol Kearney died tragically of medical complications. Even with precarious health, she was determined to fulfil her life dream of writing a book and she completed and published her debut book. Through my book review, I pay a tribute to her undying spirit and her ability to see humour in every situation.


Verdict

Hilarious. Feel good. Must read. I burst into laughter every now and then while reading.

I rate it 4 stars 🌠🌠🌠🌠


Disclaimer
: I received an ebook from the book publicist in exchange of an honest review.

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Lost

I lost my white chopping board. And mislaid a spoon. Normally, in the clutter of my house, I wouldn’t notice if an entire basket of fruit disappeared-polished off by my children, of course. And dust lies so thick on everything else that the original colour of things cannot be ascertained, nor their shapes. Everything is obscured by this.

Now, how did I know I lost my chopping board? It was one of my dear possessions. And that was back in the time, I was starting a new life, a married state of existence. Our belongings were numbered, as were my spoons. A set of dozen, bought by my mother for the new house. Losing one meant I suspected the maid of stealing it. My husband told me not to be silly. But I told him of the wisdom imparted to me by the elders ( mostly women) of the family. That, the part time house maids we employ are able to flick things especially little objects concealed in their clothes. I was not upto frisking them, but cast aspertions on them, I could. This innate suspicion had been handed down for generations. In “A Passage to England”, Nirad C. Choudhary talks of the propensity of the Indian housewives to keep an eagle eye on the household provisions. They would count the number of onions and potatoes, after their household helps left. He does not talk of confrontation. Nor is that possible in today’s world of unionised house maids.

Back to the chopping board. It was plastic with a lot of notches made by my knives. It was always in my mind, for I had read some place that chopping boards need to be wooden. Then they do not make the knives blunt. Now, I was forever calculating, which would be cheaper, replacing the board or my knives.

I probably left it propped against a shelf in the kitchen, when we moved house. The Movers and Packers were very efficient and they put things in boxes in a few hours flat. They did not leave anything behind, not even the toilet cleaning brushes I meant to discard. Then, how did the chopping board escape them? The maid could not have wanted it, for she liked to have her vegetables chopped the old fashioned way, by hand and this was the only way she knew and respected.

Thus, it became a mystery of sorts. The disappearance of the spoon I rather expected, so it was okay. And then a few years down the line, I lost a couple of my dinner bowls. Stainless Steel. Tsk…tsk… But that is another story.