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Peggy Farooqi
Mum of 3 (1994, 1995, 1998)- born in East Germany --lived in UK/ Kent since 1993 -- studied criminology -- love reading / writing / travelling / needlecraft 
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22 March 2015

The Reverse Commute
Sheila Blanchette
Book Shepherd Publishing LLC
Publication Date
January 2014
fiction, women

Book Description (from Amazon)

Sophie Ryan, a middle-aged woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown, is stuck in a dead-end job barely paying her bills. Adding to her problems, she and her husband, Ray, live in an old New Hampshire farmhouse with endless, humorous calamities.

One night when Ray is out of town, Sophie has a vivid, passionate dream of Ryan Gosling that inspires her to hatch a plan to change her life and fulfill her dreams of escaping the farmhouse and her job.

Meanwhile, in the same suburban office where Sophie works, is a twenty something young girl also stuck in a cubicle, bored with her job and frustrated with life after college. One snowy night, she barely makes the train home and finds the last available seat across from a strikingly handsome, mysterious young man.

We follow Sophie and Ray and the young couple, keeping up with their dramas while at the same time trying to make the leap into their newly imagined, idealistic lives. Like a fast moving train, the story carries us along through twists and turns, obstacles and speed bumps to the surprising conclusion.

Readers will be eager to find out what happens next and will be thinking about the book long after they have read the last page.

 My Review 

I enjoyed this sweet little story which I picked up as I mainly read on my commute, and it was a freebie - can't go wrong. It tells the story of 2 woman in alternating chapters. One is a middle age woman, unhappily stuck in a job she does not enjoy, teenage children who are just about to fly the nest and a husband she has to nag constantly to do jobs. And then there is a young woman, at the start of her career and adult life who is stuck in an unhappy relationship. But has just met a boy on her daily commute who seem to tick all the right boxes. Both woman work in the same dreary office where they feel stuck with boring jobs and dreams of a more exciting future. 

It can be a bit confusing first, but once you understand that the story of each woman is told in alternating chapters, it becomes quite clear and I was looking forward to see what they are doing next. There is a bit of a sweet twist to this at the end which I did enjoy. After having found traces of Sophie in my at the beginning (oh dear!), I felt at the end of it that all is not too bad and there is hope. 

I guess the book is not going to change your life, but I thought it was well written and entertaining and I did get the 'aha' moment at the end. I think it would maybe suit a middle-aged reader best. 

 About the Author

Sheila Blanchette grew up in Warwick, RI and attended Pilgrim High School. After graduating from Bentley University, she bounced around in various accounting jobs for almost thirty years until she found her voice and began to write. Currently she is living in New Hampshire with her husband Rich and pursuing her dreams. She still wishes on stars.