Thursday, April 19, 2012
Book Look: Reel Life
Jackie Townsend's Reel Life unspools not neatly, but well. The entangled lives of two sisters, Jamie and Betty, their love lives, and their "busy" troubled mom are intertwined with moments from films that meant a lot to the sisters in the various episodes of their lives. Townsend takes us through Jamie and Betty's childhood and teen years. They go to college, they think they fall in love. Betty marries and has children. Jamie continues to wander, wondering if she wants children at all. The scenes in Southern California bring is lively local color. Jamie, though, travels the world after college, finding herself in exotic Thailand. The reality of the heat, humidity, and lack of water pressure in the shower quickly reveals that living there is not the same as 5-star resort vacationing there. Townsend gets inside her characters' minds with all of their doubts and fears. Through it all, the sisters have a love-hate relationship. I never had a sister, and now I feel how much that would have changed my way of communicating with the world. "Reel Life" is a really good read.