Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Guest Blogger: JEANNE RAY

Jeanne Ray is one of my favorite authors, as is her daughter, Ann Patchett. Even though it’s been a while, I can still tell you the plots of all of her books, they have really stuck with me. In fact, her first book, Julie and Romeo, is one of my favorite books ever! Her latest, Calling Invisible Women, just came out and I am delighted that Jeanne is my guest blogger today.

A delightfully funny novel packing a clever punch, from the author of the New York Times bestselling Julie and Romeo

   A mom in her early fifties, Clover knows she no longer turns heads the way she used to, and she's only really missed when dinner isn't on the table on time. Then Clover wakes up one morning to discover she's invisible--truly invisible. She panics, but when her husband and son sit down to dinner, nothing is amiss. Even though she's been with her husband, Arthur, since college, her condition goes unnoticed. Her friend Gilda immediately observes that Clover is invisible, which relieves Clover immensely--she's not losing her mind after all!--but she is crushed by the realization that neither her husband nor her children ever truly look at her.  She was invisible even before she knew she was invisible.

   Clover discovers that there are other women like her, women of a certain age who seem to have disappeared.  As she uses her invisibility to get to know her family and her town better, Clover leads the way in helping invisible women become recognized and appreciated no matter what their role.  Smart and hilarious, with indomitable female characters, Calling Invisible Women will appeal to anyone who has ever felt invisible.

From Jeanne Ray:

I wrote Calling Invisible Women for several reasons.  The most important, I’m afraid, is one that many readers will miss.  My fault, I am sure.

            There is the old myth/metaphor about women over the age of menopause are invisible.  I believe you are only “invisible” if you allow yourself to lose your inner glow, your shine if you will.  If you walk down the street with bad posture, your stomach sticking out and your head down, if you stop smiling and greeting others, if you stop giving a darn about the world you live in, you will, more than likely, become invisible.  Unless you are 18 and smashingly beautiful.  I think, as Clover comes to realize in the book, you have to start caring about yourself and about others before your visibility returns.  Go to a homeless shelter and serve meals and talk to the men and women you meet and smile.  Think you’ll be invisible?  No way.

            The second reason I wrote this book is because I’ve always been fascinated by super powers.  I’d love to be able to fly (without an airplane), or be strong enough to lift a freight train, or be REALLY invisible.  Even being Spider Man would be pretty cool.  Though I’d rather be Spider Woman.

            The last reason, is that Clover’s feelings were very hurt because her family didn’t notice she was gone.  And yet, they didn’t notice she was gone because they didn’t love her. They didn’t notice because she had gotten everyone in her family so accustomed to having a clean house, good food, and their laundry on time that they took for granted she was there because IT was there.  Yes, she was under appreciated perhaps.  I agree.  So am I.  So are most other homemakers.  But she was most certainly loved.


If you would like to win a copy of CALLING INVISIBLE WOMEN by Jeanne Ray, send an email to contest@gmail.com, with "Calling Invisible Women" as the subject. Make sure to include your name and mailing address in the US only. This contest is open to all adults over 18 years of age. One entry per email address, please. Your email address will not be shared or sold to anyone. All entries, including names, email addresses and mailing addresses, will be purged after winner is notified. This contest is going to run for a week, so please get your entry in by May 30, 2012. Good luck!

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