Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What Doesn't Kill You-Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant

What Doesn't Kill You
Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant
Touchstone Books, Jan 2009, $24.95
ISBN: 1416564209

Divorcee Tee Hodges has always been there for her employer of twenty-five years Olivia Markson at the sacrifice in some ways of her own life. She did what she had to insure that the Markson & Daughter “creams and lotions” empire remained strong and successful; although “Daughter” left the work to mother while living the good life in Europe. Her boss was her mentor and friend. So when Olivia dies, Tee grieves her loss as if a close relative past away.

Tee is further stunned when Daughter decides to take control of the firm and fires her mom’s closest associates starting with Tee. Besides psychological shock, unemployment comes at a time when Tee is spending a fortune for her daughter’s upcoming wedding. Unable to obtain employment, Tee has no one to turn to as her parents have their own brouhaha, her daughter Amber has her upcoming wedding, and her friends no longer seem interested in her. Instead of wallowing in self pity, Tee decides to start a company of her own; not expecting her entrepreneurship will lead her to an admiring man.

WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU is an engaging character study starring a woman who instead of wallowing in self pity, thinks that’s life and death while scrutinizing her options until she comes up with a plan that gives her hope. Tee’s asides are insightful and make her human; for instance when commentating on her ex husband’s public display of generosity at their daughter’s wedding while he failed to kick in one cent for the wedding. Readers will root for Tee as she tries to find life after Olivia.

Harriet Klausner

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