Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Review: Based On Availability by Alix Strauss

Based On Availability by Alix Strauss is a haunting tale of the inner lives of eight women tenuously connected. It is dark and moving with very little light.

Morgan is one of the managers of the Four Seasons in Manhattan. Haunted by the loss of her sister, she weaves in and out of the lives of the other characters in the book. The methods that Morgan uses to cope with the void left by her loss are desperate and sad.

In a moment of desperation to connect Morgan reaches out in friendship to Trish, the owner of a new art gallery in town. Trish is obsessed with her best friend's upcoming wedding and dramatic weight loss. The two will struggle to build new connections.

The women are varied in backgrounds but all have deeply hidden inner struggles that may prove to undo them. Anne, an employee of the hotel, who struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder, Louise who is a rock star struggling with addiction, Franny, a Southerner struggling to fit into life in Manhattan, Sheila, a teacher, and Ellen who wants so badly to be a mother, and finely Robin, who is worn down by the abuse of her sister.

Based On Availability illuminates the inner struggles that many women face. Insecurities and low self-esteem are products of this dark abyss that haunts so many women. The book can be hard to read at times because of the cimmerian existence of these women. Their fears seem to be in control much of the time.

It is not a happy read but it will haunt you and perhaps send you inward to examine your own inner fears and insecurities. Although I struggled connecting with the book and the women at the beginning I was drawn into their stories. These women will remain with you for a while after you finish the book. Enjoyed would not be quite the right word for how I experienced this book. Based On Availability was an interesting book that I do find worth recommendation.

10 comments:

bookmagic said...

I had not heard of this book before but it sounds interesting. I like stories about the connectivity of people's lives

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Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

Thanks for this review!

Bill ;-)

http://drbillsbookbazaar.blogspot.com/2010/08/back-in-saddle-again.html
Author of "Back to the Homeplace"
and forthcoming "The Homeplace Revisited" Spring 2011

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Anonymous said...

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mike draper said...

I enjoyed this review. It certainly gives some points about women living alone and what they go through.
Nice job.
Mike Draper

Deb said...

It was an interesting read. I wasn't sure at the beginning that I would like the book because it was so dark.

Tribute Books Mama said...

Thanks for sharing .