Monday, April 11, 2011
Review of Starring in the Movie of My Life by Laurel Osterkamp
Title: Starring in the Movie of My Life
Author: Laurel Osterkamp
Thirty-five-year-old Samantha acts impulsively, but always doing what she thinks is right. She loves her husband, Nate Linden, but constantly wonders how she got so lucky with a man ten years younger than herself. Melody is a high school senior. After Mr. Linden saves Melody from being attacked at a Valentine’s dance, she believes it is destiny that she and her teacher belong together.
Starring in the Movie of My Life follows Samantha, as she follows her impulsive heart into pursuits that challenge those who love her, and Melody, who thinks she knows exactly how her life should be and who doesn’t consider how her actions affect others. Samantha has a life, but it isn’t fully satisfying, for some reason. She keeps secrets from her husband and from her ex, who happens to live in an upstairs apartment. Melody’s home life is nothing to cheer about, but she always manages to land on her feet and make the best of any situation. All her life she’s had to take care of herself and her mother and be the focus of barbs and jokes from classmates. She believes it has made her stronger. When push comes to shove, she does what it takes to be on top.
The author chose alternating points of view for each chapter of the two women who want Nate for themselves. The tight writing keeps the pace moving, and the short chapters help build suspense because the reader is left wanting more. The movie subject works well in the storyline. The author crafted Samantha to be forever comparing her life to movies she’s seen and Melody as a person who researches, plans, and directs exactly out how she wants her life to go. The writing mixes current day with backstory in small portions, so the reader slowly gains understanding into why the characters act the way they do.
Laurel Osterkamp drew on her experience as a high school film studies and creative writing teacher to craft Starring in the Movie of My Life. Laurel’s first novel, Following My Toes, won a 2008 National Indie Book Award for Excellence. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and children where she’s at work on her next novel.
Starring in the Movie of My Life is fast-paced, engaging, and a recommended read for those not afraid to go back to high school and experience some angst or to experience what it can be like to scramble to find a focus and purpose for life in the mid-30s. Jumping in with both feet without thinking isn’t always a bad thing. Reviewer: Lisa Haselton, Allbooks Reviews, www.allbooksreviewint.com.
Publisher: PMI Books