The Other Side of Us, Sarah Mayberry

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice. And I give absolutely no fucks.

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January 14, 2013

The Other Side of Us, Sarah Mayberry

The Other Side of Us, Sarah Mayberry

I picked up the latest Sarah Mayberry novel, The Other Side of Us on the strength of Brie’s review last week.

This book was awesome and I have a feeling that I’m going to be buying everything else Mayberry’s written now. My credit card is crying.

Mackenzie and Oliver are neighbors who get off to a rocky start–Mackenzie’s recovering from a serious car accident that nearly killed her and Oliver’s getting some space from his failed marriage by cleaning out his deceased aunt’s home. There’s a rickety fence between the properties, which isn’t enough to keep Mackenzie’s intrepid dachshund, Mr. Smith, away from Oliver’s schnauzer, Strudel.

Mackenzie’s not really interested in making small talk with Oliver either time he brings Mr. Smith back home–she’s physically exhausted from her rehab and she’d just rather not deal. So it takes a while for them to make that connection, which I really liked–there’s a torrential rainstorm and Oliver comes and helps Mackenzie prevent her home from getting flooded and from there, they each unbend enough to reach out. The relationship comes upon them slowly and I really liked that–they’re friends before they’re partners.

And they have a lot to work through before they can be that–Mackenzie is more financially settled than Oliver is, even though both their careers are behind the scenes (Oliver is a sound engineer, Mackenzie is a television producer). Mackenzie’s also very focused on getting her career back while Oliver is more focused on getting his personal life together.

Both Oliver and Mackenzie felt like real people to me. And it was so nice to read a romance about characters who are my age–I’m in my late 30’s and I’m at the point where some of my friends are getting divorced or making other major changes in their lives, so it’s lovely to see that reflected in a category romance. It’s also nice to see a character with a disability take center stage–while Mackenzie doesn’t look disabled, her injuries have left her with a limited range of motion in her shoulder and hip as well as chronic pain and reduced energy. I found the depiction of her disability to be really true to life and I liked the way both she was able to communicate her physical limitations in a matter of fact way.

So to sum up: I really liked this book. A lot. And now I need to acquire more books by Sarah Mayberry.

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Review: A Country of Ghosts by Margaret Killjoy

Review: A Country of Ghosts by Margaret Killjoy

Margaret Killjoy’s A Country of Ghosts is a work of beautifully crafted utopian fiction that reminded me of nothing so much as Ursula K. LeGuin’s The Dispossessed–except in a country called Hron where there is enough for everyone, as opposed to LeGuin’s moon Anarres, where there are precious few resources.

Highly recommended.


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