December 17, 2012

book review: the seven steps to closure

A woman scrambles to piece her life back together after going through a nasty divorce with even nastier attachments in Donna Joy Usher's The Seven Steps to Closure (read an excerpt here).

Tara Babcock has tried everything to get over her failed marriage. She's seen a therapist, had her palm read and most recently went on an all-out drunken binge that leaves her with a hangover instead of any closure. Already in a funk, everything turns worse when she learns her ex-husband is marrying her cousin, the woman he left her for.

With renewed vigor to fix her life, Tara relies on her best friends and the advice of a magazine article to finally find the closure that has eluded her in the past.

More often than not it seems that Tara is a hot mess and her life is a disaster. While initially that fact adds humor and sometimes irritation to the story, it ultimately offers the character development necessary to tell Tara's story fully. Far from perfect, it was easy to feel sorry for Tara, while at the same time wonder how she was going to get it together to ultimately succeed. Ultimately, Tara had my loyalty, and she was like a friend I wanted to see succeed -- even if it meant shaking a little sense into her.

Her relationship with her best friends had a lot to offer. Their willingness to help her move on and the use of the magazine article as a guide made for an entertaining, if not often questionable, journey for them to follow. Having the magazine article's instructions -- for example, "The Sixth Step to Closure - Have Meaningful Sex -- created an interesting outline for Tara's path.

As a travel enthusiast, I found myself envious of some of Tara's literal journeys throughout the story. In addition to giving the story color, it offered a platform for crucial character and plot development. Add in the character Matt, and I was green with my envy.

In addition to Tara, her entourage and the sticky situations they call life, the story had plenty of other quirks to make it unique. For example, at the beginning of the book, Tara wakes from her previous night's binge to the sound of a parrot reciting totally inappropriate phrases. Little details like that made me laugh out loud, and kept my humor going during parts that could have been a little too serious otherwise.

More than a story about getting over an ex, Seven Steps is about taking ownership of your life and learning to love again.

Rating: 4 of 5

Be sure to check back tomorrow for a guest post from the author of The Seven Steps to Closure by Donna Joy Usher. 

About the Author
Born in Brisbane, I started my working life as a dentist. After 15 years of drilling and filling I discovered there was more to life, and put pen to paper. Now I drill by day and write by night.

When not doing either of those things I like spending time with my husband and two little dogs, fishing and camping, motorbike riding, traveling, drinking wine on my deck and eating chocolate. Last year I ran my first half marathon and took up paddle boarding.

I have lived in a myriad of places: Melbourne, Perth, England, Rockhampton, Roxby Downs, Sydney, Cairns and am now situated on the New South Wales Central Coast.

Connect with Donna

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  1. Hey Laura,
    Just wanted to thank you for your lovely thoughtful review. I hope you and your family have a lovely Christmas.

    1. Thank you! Best wishes for a wonderful holiday to you, too. Thanks for sharing your fun book with me.