Review by Serena Wadhwa
The story revolves around former airline pilot Annie Mullard, who feels as if her life is spinning out of control. Forty-something, married with three kids, Annie thinks her life has sunk to a new low when her washing machine breaks down and she finds herself in a run-down Chicago Laundromat, The Golden Coin. It is there that she meets a most unlikely Messiah, a blue-haired woman, half her age, who claims to have all the answers.
Strickland’s second novel, following her 2007 debut Wish Club , sparks with descriptive and eloquent exchanges between these two very different women whose paths have crossed in this most unlikely place.
Annie telling this Messiah how her life has crashed: “All I want, all I ever wanted, is a little happiness. A little security. I worked so hard to get somewhere in this life and now I’m watching everything, all of it, slip right out from under me and there’s not one thing I can do about it.” I pause, wave my hand around the inside of the Golden Coin again. “This was not supposed to be my life!”
Isn’t that what we all want – a little happiness? Most self-help books claim to have all the answers to achieve some sense of happiness. They provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to reach that goal. But this is a rare book in that it provides a glimpse into the process of how we can change our lives.
The Messiah reminds Annie, “ You haven’t even spent a nickel and you’re already starting to worry you don’t have enough.”
And this is an eye-opening observation for Annie. “Holy shit, I think. She’s right. I stop my pacing and stare at her. I just had all this money fall into my lap and I made myself start thinking it’s not enough, when a few minutes ago it was all the money in the world. The amount of money hadn’t changed, only what I’d felt about it had.”
Strickland beautifully weaves a story that shows the ability we have to change our lives and ultimately find that elusive happiness.
Strickland beautifully weaves a story that shows the ability we have to change our lives and ultimately find that elusive happiness. She brings together powerful words and concepts of self-responsibility, passion, faith in oneself and universal experiences to demonstrate how we can write our own happy ending.