Friday, July 30, 2010

Review - Symmetry by Joyce Scarbrouch

Written by: Joyce Scarbrough
Rated: Very Good (****)
Review by: Lisa Haselton

Jessica Cassady’s life has hit a couple of potholes. She loves her husband, but will he ever realize how self-centered he can be? Jessica is constantly pulling her hair out and starts to blame it on stress, especially when a simple phone call to her husband forces her life into turmoil. Symmetry is a story of discovery and relationships.

Jessica’s life may not be perfect, but it’s close. Her husband is handsome and even though he’s always admired by other women, he only has eyes for her. Jessica has never felt she’s measured up in her parents’ eyes and with her sister’s recent marriage, Jessica feels that point is even truer. Jessica needs space to make decisions about her future and time to research her hair pulling issue.

The separation from her husband lets Jessica discover some truths about herself and to put a name to her condition – trichotillomania. She moves outside her comfort zone for the first time in years, and enjoys the experiences and connections. But is it what she really wants?

Author Joyce Scarbrough knows how to bring out the details of relationships. She’s able to show the mixed emotions and confusing feelings people experience when in a relationship. She finds a nice balance between the good and the bad, the pros and cons, as it were, when a person is deciding whether the stay or leave. By including a real affliction, trichotillomania, she’s expanding her readers’ horizons by sharing a true-to-her experience. The book is fiction, but the facts about TTM are real. Scarbrough uses TTM as conflict in the story, and it works well. Too much detail could cause readers to close the book, but her writing style keeps the conflicts and positive points, symmetrical.

Scarbrough is an intelligent Southern woman weary of seeing herself and her peers portrayed in books and movies as either post-antebellum debutantes or barefoot hillbillies a la Daisy Duke, so all her heroines are smart, unpretentious women who refuse to be anyone but themselves. Scarbrough has lived all her life in southern Alabama. She's the mother of three gifted children, and she's been married for 26 years to the love of her life. Symmetry is her third novel. She’s at work on her fourth.

I enjoyed Symmetry for the writing. The characters pulled me right in and kept me engaged. I felt for Jessica and her turmoil. Learning about TTM, which I had no knowledge of before opening the book, was a bonus. It’s a recommended read for those interested in romance, those who are somehow touched by trichotillomania, and those who simply enjoy a well-told story told.

Title: Symmetry
Author: Joyce Scarbrough
Publisher: L&L Dreamspell
ISBN: 978-1-60318-146-4
Pages: 210
Price: $15.95

1 comment:

The Belle in Blue said...

Thanks so much for the review, Lisa! You really "got" Jess and what I was trying to accomplish with putting the hair-pulling issue in the story. It doesn't define her just as it doesn't define the 8 million people in the US who have the disorder. I just wanted to raise awareness and tell a good story at the same time! :-)