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Hey Dorothy, You're Not in Kansas Anymore
by Karen Mueller Bryson

Category: Fiction / Humour
0 pages; ISBN: 1589392386

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Carolyn Howard-Johnson


Reviewed by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, award-winning author of “This is the Place” and “Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered”

I was intrigued by the title of Karen Mueller Bryson’s book, and who wouldn’t be? The English speaking world has been mightily affected by the metaphor of Oz. “Hey Dorothy You’re Not in Kansas Anymore” does not disappoint.

A young woman loses her father in a freak accident. She is one of a family with enough peccadilloes among them to keep any reader fascinated. She decides she will sleep her pain away, her mother decides she will run away with a cult, and brother decides to bury himself in his achievements and try to ignore the whole mess. The pain in this family is palpable but so is their zest for living. Those who loved “Bridget Jones’s Diary” may like this book even better. It has the snap of the new genre called chick lit to which “Diary” is a prominent member; like “Diary” it explores the pain that twenty-somethings often experience in a society that isn’t keen on letting them grow up.

What makes this novel better is that Our Dear Dorothy is just more likeable than Bridget because she is not quite so needy, quite so miserable, is just less of a cookie-cutter character all around.

What makes this novel move along so quickly is the author’s background as a playwright. The dialogue is quick and convincing. The grounding is much like a theater production. The settings are sufficiently presented but do not dominate. Mostly the humor is so natural. I laughed out loud three times in the first two chapters and chuckled even more often. All in all, this book is a good lesson that the absurd may be found in the most agonizing of situations and that it works ever so well as a healer.

(Carolyn Howard-Johnson is the author of the award-winning “Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered.”
Leora G. Krygier, author of “First the Raven,” says, “…this goes to the very core of all our memories. I love the way the stories intertwine like pieces of a quilt and it's the reader who puts it together. It's simply magical”.
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