I don’t read a lot of fiction. Aside from the occasional Vince Flynn novel or something particularly original, I’d much rather read something historical or investigative or a memoir. There are so many compelling true stories out there that are a hundred times more interesting.
One particular genre for which I have exceptional disdain is “chick lit,” specifically novels where the heroine is a harried working mom whose ethics are compromised and she’s racked with guilt because she’s overworked and spends too much time away from her children. The problem with this type of book is, I’ve only ever read one ending, the Hollywood ending. Suddenly she discovers a Jackson Pollack canvas in the basement, sells it for a million dollars and she can quit working and live the life of a blissful housewife. Or she sells a screenplay and is being whisked off to movie sets in exotic locations and she can quit that job she hates and spend the rest of her life as a celebrated writer. Or she turns whistle blower and rats out her corporate bosses who are making money on the backs of their employees and customers by cooking the books and contaminating the drinking water of an entire town and receives a gazillion dollar settlement enabling her to live a worry-free existence at home with her children.
I want to read an alternative ending to the story about the harried working mom whose ethics are compromised and she’s racked with guilt because her house is a disaster and she spends most of her time yelling at her kids and has to miss her son’s school play because work commitments are deemed more important than watching her child do something he is really good at.
What happens when the book doesn’t have a fairy tale ending?