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Anybody Any Minute

by Julie Mars

      Julie Mars' new book, Anybody Any Minute, is a warm and funny exploration of middle age and its inherent questioning of life and roles and possibilities. The seeker on this inner journey is Ellen Kenny, a former love child and now unhappy woman with no real career, married to a New York lawyer, and desperately in search of something. After being fired for the umpteenth time (mainly because she keeps telling her bosses the truth about themselves), she sets out to visit her sister in Canada. Along the way in upstate New York, she buys a farmhouse with an advance on her credit card and decides she needs to reconnect with herself.

Here in the tiny town of Eagle Beak she meets an unlikely group of people who help her find something other than the unfulfilling pace of New York City. One is Rayfield Geebo, a former biker with an unusual disease and woman trouble. Another is Rodney de Beer, the son of the former owner of her farmhouse, who not only becomes her handyman, but is also a talented chainsaw sculptor. She also takes in a canine with narcolepsy and her sister's toddler who only understands bits of French, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Even in their eccentricities, they bring her stability and she brings much to their lives as well.

But what healing magic occurs in her first summer of farmhouse ownership happens long distance between her and her husband. However, along that route is a very rocky road, fraught with distrust and uneven growth and lots of Ellen's memories about events which shaped her and brought her to this point in her life.

While Anybody Any Minute is less like Green Acres and more like Under the Tuscan Sun, it is very much a singular, thoughtful, and poignant work that looks at crossroads, choices, and new definitions of responsibility. Julie Mars is to be commended for her fresh approach to midlife questioning and for the absolutely delightful cast of characters she has chosen to tell her tale. I loved this book! I laughed. I pondered. I smiled. I wondered. Anybody Any Minute reveals the heart of human connectedness. Brava! Julie Mars is also the author of The Secret Keepers and A Month of Sundays: Searching for the Spirit and My Sister.

The Book

St. Martin's Press
May 27, 2008
Advanced Review Copy for Hardcover
0312378696 / 978-0312378691
Fiction, Mainstream Literary
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The Reviewer

Janie Franz
Reviewed 2008
NOTE: Reviewer Janie Franz is the author of Freelance Writing: Itís a Business, Stupid!and co-author of The Ultimate Wedding Reception Book and The Ultimate Wedding Ceremony Book. Coming Soon: The Ultimate Wedding Workbook.
© 2008