Monday, April 21, 2014

Your Roots Are Showing by Elise Chidley

Your Roots are Showing Lizzie is overwhelmed and sleep deprived.  With three-year-old twins, a husband who is always traveling, and a disapproving mother-in-law, this is no surprise.  In a low moment she dashes off an email to her sister about how marriage and motherhood are not the happily ever after everyone says it is.  Unfortunately, the (un)helpful email program filled in her husband James's email address instead of her sister Janie's.  After reading how his wife wouldn't mind if he went on another business trip and simply disappeared forever James comes homes and starts packing his bags.  Lizzie tells her husband that she was having a bad day and didn't mean anything in the email, but he doesn't buy it and moves out.  Her friends and even new acquaintances tell Lizzie that she depressed and angry and that maybe she needs to talk to a professional but Lizzie insists that she is fine.  In complete denial about her life and her own feelings, Lizzie interprets James's moving out as a sign that he is testing her.  She decides to call his bluff by moving out herself. 

Your Roots Are Showing was charming to read. Lizzie was the kind of character I wish I would reach into the book and shake.  At the same time I could totally relate to her and continued to root for her as she stumbled into a series of awkward situations and jumped to one conclusion after another.   Her husband was just as sympathetic.  Sure he left, but can you blame him?  Can you imagine getting an email in which the person you thought you were going to spend the rest of your life with says they wouldn't mind if you never came home again? Lizzie was stuck and who hasn't felt stuck in their life at some point.  As for James, he was blind to what was happening but also blindsided.  The email and its aftermath devastated Lizzie and James but it was exactly what their relationship needed.

Things do get better, as expected.  Lizzie starts trying new things, one of which is running.  As a runner myself, I loved this aspect of her transformation.  There are aesthetic benefits - Lizzie runs off the baby weight.  More importantly, she finds that she is stronger that she thinks.  Running gives her confidence.  Slowly she starts making choices, sometimes not very well thought out choices, but nevertheless choices about her life, instead of waiting for things to just work themselves out or for other people to read her mind.  At the end, Lizzie comes out stronger than when she started.  Watching her get stronger was like a roller coaster ride.  There were lots of ups, downs and fast turns but eventually everyone ends up safely on the ground, having faced one of their fears.  It was definitely worth the read.

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