45 year old Genelle is an intelligent, warm and loving woman whose life has been turned on its ear. In a short period she lost her mom and was dropped by her boyfriend. She decided to get a fresh start and move out to the southwest – namely, Texas. As John Lennon said, “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” Genelle is now in a new town living in her car and working temp jobs. She’s a tough and savvy go-getter though and is determined to find her own way. Enter a few new friends who break though her wall of pride and give her a hand up. And, of course, a new nickname “Gigi”.
This story has a lot going for it: well-written, well-described and a refreshingly diverse set of characters. The author creates a small town feeling within the story and within the people that surround the main character. Edwards is a great writer and one of my favorite paragraphs is “Funny how you plod through childhood wishing for the clock to move faster, so you can enter the coveted world of adulthood where you can make your own decisions and plot your own course. Next thing you know you’re wading through the uncertainty of your twenties and then trying to fix the mistakes you made in your thirties. Then without warning the pace quickens, the forties come and go and by fifty—- everything takes off at warp speed.” That scream you heard was me. Another thing I like about the dialogue in the story is that it is so, well, right-on. It’s believable conversations and situations had me hooked.
Gigi gets a job and in her embarrassment about her living situation, lies begin to snowball and affect her friendships and a new suitor, Desmond, who has his own issues between loving his Mama and dealing with a spoiled daughter.
Something else – the author speaks of this poem by Kelly Norman Ellis called “I Was Raised by Women”. I hadn’t heard of the poem or the poetess before and wow… I was reminded of work by Maya Angelou.
I very much enjoyed Telling Stories and am anxious to read more by Cheri Paris Edwards. She has a rare talent in creating characters that resemble actual people – people that you wish you had as friends.