Minus Me

Mameve Medwed. Alcove, $17.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-64385-643-8
Medwed (Of Men and Their Mothers) returns with an underwhelming tale of a woman with marital and maternal woes. Annie Stevens-Strauss and her husband, Sam, are childless after four miscarriages and a stillbirth, and her self-involved actress mother, Ursula, can’t believe Annie married her high school sweetheart and stayed in her small Maine town to run a sandwich shop. When a scan turns up multiple masses on Annie’s lungs, Annie believes she’s doomed and puts off a biopsy. She thinks mainly of Sam and his past troubles with depression, and how helpless he’ll be without her, so she focuses on writing a how-to manual for life (covering everything from his parents’ birthdays to operating instructions for the washing machine) without telling Sam about the scan. Drama ensues over a misunderstanding involving a business loan from Ursula, and plot twists that rely on Annie’s almost pathological unwillingness to examine her life until the well-connected Ursula sweeps her off to New York to see a specialist. Medwed’s tendency to repeat key facts over and over, such as Sam’s depression and Ursula’s selfishness, gives the whole affair an unpolished feel. With a passive protagonist at the center, this is a bit of a slog. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 10/29/2020
Release date: 01/12/2021
Genre: Fiction
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