Friday, March 6, 2015

Book Review: Doing Good (OT)

Doing Good, by Pamela Morsi (Mira Books, 2002, 378 pages [PB], $6.99)

A funny thing happened to me on the way to becoming an 11-year dog book reviewer: I started to read all sorts of other book genres and have found some of them to be amazingly good, like Doing Good.

One more chance. . . please!

Yes, there is even the mention of a mockingbird in Doing Good, in this year of Harper Lee’s second novel. No, it is not a romance novel but a novel so full of talking moments, Doing Good is written by a USA Today bestselling author.

A saga is usually the story of a family over several generations but Doing Good is a saga of just about a year, with flashbacks to the past. (Life seldom happens this fast.)

What’s it all about?

A hard-working well-deserving woman wins an academic scholarship and eventually marries very successfully into the country club scene but is also a top-welling realtor, possibly due to her country club connections. One night she meets a semi-trailer gone amuck and is trapped in her convertible. How she escapes an inferno and the promise she makes before she is saved is the premise of this story. 

Doing Good is hard to put down until you finish it. You wonder how all the loose ends get tied up but they do. It makes for never-ending group discussions because Doing Good has it all: divorce, abused spouses, cancer, diabetes, Vietnam veterans, the elderly and otherwise-challenged characters, mouthy teens, volunteering, too much money - both new and old, antiques, college kids, affairs, golf.

Well-written, mostly conversational, fast-paced, likable characters, surprises – some that you have guessed correctly so you feel vindicated but others you are waiting impatiently to happen while still other surprises hit you blindsided, Doing Good will keep you company on a plane flight or a snow-day off.

Doing good

What is it about doing good? Are some people truly altruistic? Can someone actually change for the better, overnight? Are there levels of ‘good deeds’ with their associated different scores? Do people who make almost death-bed pacts really keep them in exchange for a second chance at life?

Besides being a good read, Doing Good may cause you to rethink your life - a few hours well spent!

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