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Apr/May 2004 Book Reviews

Drip Dry

Ilsa Evans
Macmillan (Feb. 2004) 365 pages
ISBN: 0 7329 1152 4

reviewed by Ann Skea


If you read Spin Cycle and enjoyed it, as I did, then you will be glad to hear of this second installment in the life of Camilla and her three children, CJ (Christine Jain), Sam and Ben. And it's all about another week of chaos, of family support and of family interference, just like the last oneóbut this time with added sex and satisfaction.

Camilla accidentally stars in an accidentally pornographic home-video, she meets an Irish (very Irish!) odd-job-man who favours pink overalls and catchy slogans, her ex-husband returns from overseas to live in the house next door, and her strange assortment of family and friends pop in and out of her life as usual. It's a week of bizarre events, and it's never boring.

I read Drip Dry quickly, laughed at some of the situations, and hoped for a happy ending but, for me, the scene has lost some of its freshness and shows worrying signs of becoming a long-running soap opera. Now, soap operas are enormously popular, and I wish luck to the authors who manage to make a living out of them, but they are not my cup of tea. Nevertheless, Camilla's intelligence and her survival tactics as a twice-divorced mother with three normal, unpredictable kids with the normal range of parent-frustrating problems make for easy reading. For me it was a light distraction, but I think Camilla is more than able, now, to manage without my taking any further interest in her life.

So, there you have it! Perhaps this is not so much Chick Lit. for the young career woman as Fem. Lit. for divorced mums coping well on their own and working for a better life. And if that's your scene, then in Drip Dry you will probably empathize with Camilla, recognize her daily horrors, and laugh with her at familiar situations. But in the end you could be left with the wry thought that only in fiction could things work out quite so neatly.

 

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