25 November 2014

Review #88: Dolls Behaving Badly by Cinthia Ritchie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Woody Allen has said,

The talent for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have, instead of what you don't have.

Carla Richards, who is in her late 30s, is one such woman, who had to learn this fact of happiness from a giant woman who was the guest in Oprah's talk show and by following the giant's advice to maintain a diary. Well wonder who Carla is? Carla is the main protagonist in Cinthia Ritchie's novel, Dolls Behaving Badly. The name is quirky and has a really interesting meaning to it name. Cinthia Ritchie has pen down this tale in the form of Carla's diary entry, hence the book's pace is quite good.

This is about Carlita, shortly known as Carla, is in her mid-30s, has a super-smart son, Jay, and is divorced to her ex-husband, Barry. Moreover she lives with Jay in a trailer, working as a waitress in a restaurant and loves to paint. She secretly wants to be successful as a painter. She even has a 'perfect' elder sister, Laurel who is married to some rich dude and also Laurel has a career of her own. Carla has started writing diary since one day she got inspired by one of Oprah Winfrey's guest in her talk show and also Carla follows her blog religiously. She wanted to thrive for happiness in her not so happy-content-and-successful-life. But from the beginning of the diary entry till the very end, we can see, Carla's life changing, her introspects and views changing towards herself, but when she reaches the breaking-point in her life, it's quite hard to say whether Carla's changed perspective will help her move over that point.

This book is an epic one. It’s thoroughly humorous as well as inspiring at the same time. The book has got a loads of treats for us- for example, Carla's Gramma's secret Polish recipes, her Kitchen table top view etc, best part being it is set in the wild Alaska and the wilderness was quite evident in every pages of the book.

Tom Bodett, the American author has once said,

It’s not like Alaska isn't wilderness - it mostly is. But most Alaskans don't live in the wild. They live on the edge of the wild in towns with schools and cable TV and stores and dentists and roller rinks sometimes. It's just like anyplace else, only with mountains and moose.

Yeah beware, there are lots of Moose!

Carla had a dream to become an artist, so she left her home at a very tender age to pursue it, instead she fell in love, got married and finally got pregnant with Jay, and thus putting her dream on a reverse gear. But her after her divorce, her life was falling apart, it was getting hard to pay the bills, (well, no doubt, she loved spending carelessly!), hence, to keep herself afloat, she started making dirty dolls for an adult website. You will be shocked to read about her unique talent!! I never knew so many things could be done with simple, plain, old Mattel Barbie Dolls! Eventually, no doubt her talent got recognized, also she learned to move on from her husband, who was a chef and was quite chubbily handsome(no wonder, why Carla was still seeing her husband even after her divorce!), and fell in love completely with a weird anthropologist, who used to send bones of dead bodies to Carla on every occasion.

Cinthia Ritchie has a quite natural passion in writing down her tales and the way she has written it, will make you fall in love with her style of writing almost immediately. The book is very 'raw' and deep with emotions. But from the very first page, you'll find tears rolling down from your eyes from laughing because of the sarcastic one-liners or quotes of Carla and Jay will make you fall in love with his wits and Stephanie's poems will make you wonder that even some poems can touch your soul so deeply and Laurel's sophistication might make you hate her in a good and sympathetic way and Barry's wisdom will make you want a man like him in your life. These quirky and out-of-box characters definitely justify the book in a good way. The book has got a simple message, “Don't worry, and just follow your instincts”. But this simple message is embedded in the tale so brilliantly. Cinthia Ritchie has kept us hooked from the very first pages of the book with Carla's witty words and sarcasm. Moreover, the author has written this tale with enough flair and love and with her articulate narration style, it makes us easy to read the book.

Verdict: Read this book at your own risk since it will take you into the "ROFL" zone!

Courtesy: Thank you Cinthia Ritchie for providing me with a copy of your book, in return for an honest review. 

Author Info:
Alaska writer and author of "Dolls Behaving Badly," Cinthia Ritchie, is releasing on Feb. 5 from Hachette Book Group; who is a lover of good books and hot baths or, better yet, reading good books while lounging in a hot bath. Secret wish: To hike up a mountain while holding Emily Dickinson's hand.
Visit her here

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  1. Thanks so, so much for the great review, Aditi! Love the new blog, it's very airy and spacious (I need to redesign my blog and am dreading it, sigh, sigh). Cheers and hope you're doing well. Happy reading,

    1. Thank you so much Cinthia! It was my pleasure and thanks for the feedback! :)


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