From the bestselling author of The Sunday List of Dreams and Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral comes a poignant, funny, and uplifting novel of a woman at midlife whose search for happiness within her marriage--and within herself--turns a whole town upside down.
After twenty-eight years of marriage to her husband Lucky, Addy Lipton feels anything but happily married. In fact, just thinking of their garage, filled to the brim with Lucky's useless junk collection, drives Addy dangerously close to plowing her car through it. But when Lucky wins a trip to paradise--aka Costa Rica--Addy has a faint hope they may be able to turn things around. Or maybe they won't. Either way, Addy never gets the chance to find out.
On the morning of their departure, Lucky fractures his back tossing their luggage into his truck. Now, with the man she feels she barely knows anymore parked indefinitely on her couch, Addy can't see their already shaky relationship surviving much longer. It's time to make some big changes--and some drastic choices.
With the love and support of her devoutly single sister Hell and her workout friends, the Sweat-hers, Addy begins a crusade to revive her dreams--and she takes the women of Parker along for the ride. Soon the men will realize they'll have to step up to the plate to keep their wives and lovers happy. And Addy will have to decide if the paradise she's creating in Parker is big enough for two....
Filled with small-town characters and big-time soul searching, this sparkling and inspirational tale will hit you where you live--and show you that just as happiness can get buried beneath the jumble of years, it can be rediscovered...if you look hard enough for it within your heart.
Radish's latest warm-fuzzy (after The Sunday List of Dreams) tracks the troubled marriage of Lucky and Addy Lipton. Lucky's Kingdom of Krap--the garage littered with dismantled appliances, an old car and every other project Lucky never finished--has brought Addy nearly to the breaking point in her stale marriage, but it's the last straw when their planned trip to Costa Rica (with its possibilities for romantic rejuvenation) doesn't happen. What ensues is a summer of separation, discovering personal desires and strong female friendships (it is, after all, a Radish book). As the summer gives way to fall, Lucky tries to win his wife back, while Addy is torn between living alone or giving the marriage another go. Girl-power readers will get a kick out of the hokey girl get-togethers, and women will surely connect with Radish's empowered femmes. (Apr.)
Copyright (c) Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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March 31, 2008
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Excerpt from Searching for Paradise in Parker, PA by Kris Radish
Addy hits the wall . . . Addy Lipton has been nurturing a wild desire for a good twenty-two months to drive her 1988 dark blue Toyota Corolla right through the closed garage door of the lovely two-story white brick and cedar home she shares with a man she vaguely remembers marrying a very long time ago.
The Toyota has not been inside of the garage since 1992, and the last time she opened the kitchen door leading into the garage and stepped inside of what she now calls The Kingdom of Krap was just days before her milestone fiftieth birthday and very close to two years ago. Addy had opened the door to set a bottle of wine in the cool garage so it would chill before her sister showed up to help her celebrate. She placed it next to the bag of dog food left over from Barney the black lab (who had passed without a doubt into doggie heaven in 2001), and then dared to look into the bowels of the garage where she had not bothered to gaze for a very long time.
"What the hell," she said out loud as she raised her eyes and wondered if she had suddenly been transported to a used- appliance store.
The garage, totally her husband Lucky's disgusting domain, was filled to high tide with partially dismantled refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, microwaves, and various other machines that must have been something workable at one time when they could actually be plugged in and turned on.
"Lucky, Lucky, Lucky," she said through a jaw that was as tight as a rusted dishwasher bolt, scanning past the machines and having a moment. A moment of desperation, wonderment, tepid fury, and astonishment at what not only her assumed half of the garage but also her entire life in halves and quarters and eighths and sixteenths had become.
"A garage stuffed with crap that my husband will use with his goofyass friends, not to fix, but to spread across each other's lawns like teenagers," Addy told herself, turning slightly in the kitchen doorway to see two piles of old bowling balls, a stack of wire coat hangers, a lawnmower that she knew for a fact did not mow, and the back end of a 1951 Chevy that Lucky had been working on since he found its decaying hulk sticking out of his uncle's old shed and dragged it home when their son was a baby. Nineteen years. The car had not moved, or turned over, or gravitated to the local antique car parade, in nineteen years.
Addy reached over and picked up the wine bottle. She told herself that she would not now wait for her sister, that she would open the bottle immediately and drink it warm. Warm like everything else in her life. Nothing hot or cold or spicy but every damn thing seeming to sit right in the middle as if waiting for something, someone, anything to push it off to one side.
Later, after that bottle was empty and her sister Helen--Hell, as she was aptly nicknamed--stole her away for a birthday dinner where Lucky managed to show up on time, after she was back home, Addy could not stop thinking about the damn garage, which as a birthday gift to herself she began calling The Kingdom of Krap.
And the garage drove her crazy with wondering.
Wondering what else might be stored behind ragged cardboard boxes and the assorted stacks of junk Lucky and his ridiculous friends scavenged from behind stores and each other's garbage piles.
Wondering how a section of the house and her life had gotten so out of control.
Wondering what would happen if Lucky spent half as much time with her as he did with his obsessive collecting and make-believe restoration projects.
Wondering why she was somehow content to sit and simply observe as her marriage seemed to drift off to a place where she could barely see the outlines of what it used to be.
Wondering what happened to the sensitive, romantic, often wild and terribly lively man she had fallen in love with when he'd swept her off her feet and into his strong and stunningly passionate arms.
Wondering if she was really prepared to spend the next thirty years lurking at the edge of her garage, and her life, if the family genes held up and she made it that far.
And that's when she started wondering what it might feel like to drive the car right through the door.
She imagined it first as an accident. Something that she did as she bent down to the back seat to grab the papers and books and piles of third-grade projects that she needed to examine for school the following day. Addy would close her eyes during recess duty or a staff meeting and see herself reaching backwards just as her foot slipped off the brake and hit the gas pedal while the car was in first gear.
The car would lurch forward like a large stone that had been pried loose after much pushing. It would jump just as she turned to see the front end of the little Toyota crash an inch below the handle in the middle of the garage door.