No Ordinary Life by Suzanne Redfearn is not the kind of book I would normally give a second glance. It’s contemporary fiction. It’s about a woman and her children. It’s set in Hollywood. It’s total chick lit and, not that I’m a book snob, but it’s just not the kind of book I read.
…but I’m so glad I read it.
Things have been stressful lately. At work we have had a couple of new hires to train and new projects have come down with a high priority. At home, we have decided to begin pursuing adoption (see that story here) and there’s been a lot happening. I needed reading to be a respite from the crazy and be something frivolous to indulge in when I curled up in my pj’s, with my puppies, to wind down in the evening. No Ordinary Life is perfect for those evenings.
It was dramatic in the way that The Bachelor is dramatic. There is some drama for the sheer sake of drama. There are characters you love, and others you loathe. There’s always that one slimy character you just want to reach through the pages (or the tv screen) and slap silly. There’s the really sweet character that you keep rooting for only to see them be trampled on again and again. Oh, and let’s not forget the child that feels overshadowed by a sibling and rebels for attention. It’s cliche and predictable, but in a fun guilty pleasure kind of way.
It kind of reminded me of a modern-day dysfunctional Shirley Temple and family. Cute…but good Lord…the Hollywood drama!
Despite how fun the book is to read, it’s also clear that Redfearn had a message she wanted to share in No Ordinary Life. I don’t know if she has ever had any personal connection to Hollywood and child stars or if she just did a lot of research in to the matter but she gives a great depiction of what could go wrong as these children grow up and fall in to the pressure and demanding schedules of life in Hollywood. There is marital strife, financial indulgences, exhaustion, pressure to conform, pressure to do “whatever it takes” to make it to the top, and a lot of other ugliness that just feels way too plausible.
It’s an easy read and one that I, surprisingly, enjoyed. Check it out here.