Christine Bacon has a fatal attraction. To all things fatal. A veteran hypochondriac, her near-death experiences are exacerbated when her husband proposes they have a menage a trois with Eleanor, his busty British massage therapist, to "shake things up." Christine reluctantly agrees (although she is more wholesome than threesome), never expecting just how much she'd be rattled. As her marriage to Richard, a/k/a "Dick," falls apart, so, too, does Christine, whose fear of her own demise causes her to research every freckle, blemish, cough, bump, lump, tingle and hiccup. She isn't a doctor, but she plays one on the internet.
There is solace for Christine: in raising daughters Lily and Carli, leaning on her friends, and wearing out the shower massager. In order to heal, she struggles to become her own person and to view her symptoms (and ex-husband) as less malignant, while searching for that special someone who will love her--despite her grave condition.
Hilarious. That's the perfect word to explain this story. I didn't expect it to be as funny as it was, but I was giggling so much my husband actually asked me what I was reading. Now, for those of you who don't know my husband, that's not a common thing to come out of his mouth. Honestly, my books are the last thing he normally wants to hear about. But I used his question as him "opening the door" to me gushing about my book. Great thinkin' on my part, huh? ;)
I Kill Me was such a great book. It was the perfect combination of chick lit silliness mixed with real-life complicated drama. The story is told from the POV of Christine, a teacher and mother of two girls, who is on the verge of a divorce (NOT by her choice!) dealing with another intense issue... she's a hypochondriac. Like serious, full-fledged hypochondriac. Headache=brain tumor type of girl. This really gave me more of an insight into how people with this disease must really feel on a daily basis. Though I was cracking up hysterically at her antics, I also felt her pain... it must be terrible living life that way. I really liked Christine, and I felt her sadness and stress right along with her.
To me, I Kill Me is definitely a story others will love and relate to as much as I did. Whether you've gone through a divorce yourself, or faced an unwanted breakup, or basically any other stresser in your life, you will quickly be able to relate to Christine's struggles. Add in teenage daughter drama, a new love interest, and a wacko, totally controlling mother and you've got yourself an amazing debut by a wonderful new author!
If there are two things I know about this world, it’s that championship soccer games shouldn’t be decided by penalty kicks, and dogs don’t live long enough. Even when they get to be fifteen.
It was May of 1998. On the way home from running errands, I passed the Humane Society. I would always feel a twinge driving by, picturing the wide-eyed, fearful stare of a senior cat, the timid dog thumping his tail in the corner of his cage. But this time, I felt more than a twinge – I felt a pull. I knew it was foolhardy–nay, colossally STUPID, to go in there. We already had a lively eight year old black Lab mix and three cats. But for whatever reason, I found myself driving into the parking lot and moments later, standing in front of the cage of what was to become my second dog. He was twelve weeks old, a black Lab/shepherd mix with a white streak down his chest and ears that didn’t know what they wanted to do yet. He came to the front of the cage when he saw me, wagged his tail, and then went back to his bed and curled up to nap, tucking his tail beneath him, and acting as though everything was right with the world. I decided I had to have him.
I say, without reservation and unapologetically to the millions of dog owners out there, that Tucker was the Best Dog In The World. His mellow, dignified nature carried through his puppyhood to old age. Our house was always teeming with neighborhood kids, lively with birthday parties and barbecues, and none of this would faze Tucker. Later on in his life, when we added kittens to our family, he didn’t even lift his head off the rug to sniff them. The dog was the meaning of the word chill.
Tucker had been around so long that we liked to say he’d done it all. Tucker used to be a general in the Korean War. Tucker knew about the challenges of coaching the Celtics. When Tucker was CEO of General Electric… you get the idea. He was also bright enough to understand past tense, looking at us with interest when we’d say things like, “‘Member when we went for a ride? And got a donut? ‘Member that?” He responded to many nicknames: Charlie Brown. Chuck Brown. Biggity Big. Hot Diggity Dog. Blackety-Black, don’t talk back. When he would hobble slowly in his later years: Rocket. And my personal favorite: Mr. Moonlight.
He used to talk with his ears. Much of the time, they were in flying nun-mode, but when he was standing outside at the door waiting to come in and saw your face in the window, his ears would go down flat which meant “oh good, you’re there.” His ears were damned cute, but they didn’t always work. At times, he had selective hearing. He couldn’t hear you calling to him when he wanted to stay outside or caught a scent of something interesting, but he sure could hear the crinkle of a wrapper, or the crunch of teeth into an English muffin.
One of the most wonderful things about him–the fact that he was always There–was also the hardest thing to accept when he died. I used to try and prepare myself for the day when he would no longer be with us. I knew it was coming, knew it when our family room turned into a Geriatric Canine Center, complete with a small tarp underneath his bed, knew it when I petted him during the last few weeks and felt the stark reality of rib-rib-rib. No matter how much you wished it wasn’t so, no matter how much you wanted him back, you had to move toward acceptance and learn to deal with the split-second burst of heart-leaping hope, followed by crushing sadness, when you came into the family room and thought you saw him on the rug. For a dog that didn’t say boo, the house became eerily silent without him. While I fully realize that people endure far, far worse than saying goodbye to an old dog, still, the ache is tremendous. You don’t realize there is sentimentality in a tuft of black hair in the house (or even poop in the yard), until you’ve lost a dog.
I had been trying to find just THE right phrase to capture the essence of this dog, until my husband said, simply, “he was a perfect gentleman to the end.” And he was, although I do not want to think of him as having ended. I will instead imagine him racing headlong into the waves on the legs of his youth, his fierce love for the ocean throbbing in his blood, my Tucker Everlasting.
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Tracy H. Tucker is first and foremost the mother of three of the best people on Earth. She has a Master's in Literacy from the University of Maine and has inspired the youth of America for seventeen years. She's an avid animal lover and would like to publicly thank her husband for putting up with the pet hair, the dogs in the bed, the things the cats hack up and the repeated requests for goats. It's a wonderful life.