Saturday, June 9, 2018

Digging In, by Loretta Nyhan (author), Mary Robinette Kowal (narrator)

Brilliance Audio, April 2018

Paige Moresco met her true love in eighth grade.

They married right out of college, and had a son, Trey.

When  Trey was in his early teens, though, Jesse died in a car crash.

Two years have passed,and neither Paige nor Trey has recovered from the loss. Paige isn't really keeping up with house maintenance. Weeds are taking over their yard, and  the neighbors in their gated community aren't happy. Jesse and Paige, because of their childhoods in a dangerous neighborhood, were self-protective and contained, and now Paige doesn't really have friends outside of work. Trey has at least one friend at school, but his trauma over the way he lost his father is keeping from taking the driver's ed class that's mandatory for him to graduate high school.

Something has got to give--especially after Paige's boss dies, and his son takes over the company, with a very different approach both to management, and to business development for their small advertising agency. Paige is at risk of losing her job.

When the frustrations and pressures build too high, one night after work, while Trey is staying the night with his friend Colin, Paige drinks wine and digs in the back yard. First all the dandelions.

Then a great big hole.

She's getting her neighbors more nervous than ever, especially after she decides that she's going to turn the whole yard into a vegetable garden.

It's crazy, and it's distracting her from very real challenges at work, and her neighbors start filing complaints.

At first this had me pretty worried, in that it looked like the story would head in the direction of humiliating Paige for laughs, a "humor" I've never enjoyed. Instead, Paige starts to learn things about herself, her neighbors, her coworkers, and even the legitimately hard to like but not stupid new boss. It becomes a really interesting look at how grief and change, while painful, can also lead to growth and discovery.

In the end, enjoyable and interesting, with unexpectedly good character development.

I bought this audiobook.