St. Martinís Press, Apr 2003
Reviewed by Joy Calderwood
Ally teaches high school art when her real talent is for interior
decorating. She lives with a real estate agent who doesnít want the home
and family she wants. Instead, Bryce wants to turn Ally into another real
estate agent. Itís easy to see what Ally is running away from.
Allyís best friend Meg has created for herself the perfect life. She has a
rugged, reliable husband who adores her, an active little boy, and so much
talent for computer art that her mentor wants to turn her into a company
director. She has her life perfectly under control. So what is she doing
with a handsome young surfer? And why the loathing in her voice when she
says the word "perfect"?
The lives of Ally and Meg take such interesting swings that it is hard to
put the book down. It is a bit harder to relate to all their backing and
filling. As a much-put-upon friend finally says to Ally, "Grow up!" But
fifteen years ago, when I was their age, I hadnít worked this stuff out
yet either, and it is exactly the kind of thing a woman needs to
understand before she can go after what she really wants. Childhood
traumas, personal prejudices, the expectations of others, all create
complications in exactly the way Dianne Blacklock shows them doing.
To me, the truly irritating part of CALL WAITING is the willful blindness
of these women who canít see what is right for them, when it is in front
of their faces. (Probably itís irritating because I was willfully blind
myself at that age.) But they are both lucky enough to have very
supportive and understanding friends, friends the reader can appreciate
more than Ally and Meg can at times, and this gets us all through the book
One of the attractions of CALL WAITING is that it is set in Australia.
We see a bit of Australian city life, a bit of small town, a bit of
culture Ė I even wanted a dictionary for the slang once. It is written in
an attractively casual style, easy to read, easily calling up mental
pictures. The author is obviously knowledgeable about interior decorating,
and just as obviously knows nothing about computer art, so she talks
freely about Allyís innovative art and doesnít even attempt to describe
Megís work. This is a smart approach on her part because she isnít letting
her lack of training interfere with the characters.
I have no qualms about recommending CALL WAITING, especially to women in
their thirties who are wondering what they are doing with their lives.
Take a look at some of Ally and Megís choices, compare them to your own,
see what strikes a chord and do a little fine tuning. More fun than a
Apr 2003 Review Originally Published by WOR
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