Title: On the Rim
Author: Florida Ann Town
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Opening lines: “…Ellen’s fingers play with the worn gold band on her left hand, as if to confirm its presence … ‘
Blurb: Ellen is blindsided by her husband’s request for a divorce and the news that everything she thought they jointly owned is in his name. Depressed and defeated, her life spirals out of control, until she impulsively decides to buy a bike and attempt the journey of a lifetime. Nervous and tenuous at first, she eventually gains strength and confidence and sets her sights on riding to California. Just as she determines this is something she is really going to do, tragedy strikes. The family draws together and Ellen’s husband decides he wants her back. Everyone is in favour of the plan, except Ellen, who feels that her hard-won independence is being stripped away. Now Ellen is truly at a crossroads. For the first time in her life, she must do what is best for her, ignoring the pressures placed upon her by other people.
My Thoughts: There are lots of Ellen’s in the world; for 30 odd years they have been a wife and mother, putting the needs of their families ahead of their own needs and thinking their worth is measured as a mum or wife and not as a person in their own right. Once the children have left home and/or the husband moves on to a younger woman these Ellen’s have no anchor, no reason for being, they just drift. Ellen spends a long time coming to terms with the way her life has gone. Depressed and alone she still continues to be unable to stand up for herself, lets herself continue to be manipulated by her ex-husband and children.
As ON THE RIM opens Ellen realises that she can’t continue this way – the money is running out and she needs to find work even if it is just volunteer work. Then she sees a pushbike at a keep fit display and ends up buying it on the spot. This is where she starts to take back her life. By focussing on cycling she realises that when she has her feet in the pedals her mind runs free; not to mention her body getting fitter. Her confidence starts returns, she gets a boyfriend and her life is gradually getting on to a much better footing when a family disaster occurs and it looks like Ellen will be going back to where she started. None of her children or her ex-husband seems to get that she is a different person now – and liking it.
I like how the author Florida Ann Town allows Ellen to grow as a character and takes the reader along. Starting off as defeated and beaten she gradually develops gumption and arises from the ashes of her marriage as a strong and independent woman. This is the first book I have read by Town, and I will certainly read more.
Rating: B – Great. I really enjoyed reading it and it is a book I will be recommending to all my friends.
For more about the author – Click Here
With thanks to Dundurn Group and the author via Netgalley