Book Review: Odyssey in a Teacup by Paula Houseman

Odyssey - Paula_Houseman_Odyssey in a Teacup_AMAZON_LRGE_NOV15Encounters with a pair of supersized Y-fronts; a humourless schoolmarm with an unfortunate name and monstrous yellow incisors; and a tut-tutting, big-breasted, modern-day gorgon are the norm for Ruth Roth. She’s used to crazy.

Her mum squawks like a harpy and her dad has a dodgy moral compass. Add in daily face-offs with a relentlessly bitchy mirror, and Ruth’s home life feels like a Greek tragicomedy.
 
She hankers for the ordinary. But blah is not a good fit for someone who doesn’t fit in. And isn’t meant to.
 
Ruth’s vanilla existence is an issue for her besties—her hot-looking, obsessive-compulsive cousin and soul mate (who needs to do everything twice-twice), and her two closest girlfriends.
 
With their encouragement and a good homoeopathic dose of ancient mythology, Ruth embarks on an odyssey to retrieve her spirit. She’s confronted with her biggest challenge ever, though, when one of these friends sends her spiralling back into a dark place.
 
The decision she must make can either bring her out or launch the mother of all wars in her world.

Odyssey in a Teacup is told from the point of view of Ruth and this is her story as she tries to navigate herself through the complications of childhood, adolescence, religion, relationships, friendships and family issues.

This novel a coming of age story that is totally unique. Ruth has a very distinct voice and is a character I’ve not come across before.

Her thoughts and feelings toward a number of experiences is explored and it is done with her own sense of humour that had me laughing out loud. She is very relatable. She is maybe the friend you wished you had at school. She’s funny, awkward, intelligent and naive.

Her cousin Ralph is the type of boy I’m sure everyone has met at some point and he is a great partner in crime to Ruth as well as her best friends, Maxi and Vette.

Sylvia is also an interesting character and one that Ruth misunderstands I think especially at the beginning of the book.

The plot follows Ruth’s life but it is written as almost little stories within the linear timeframe – almost a diary entry if that makes sense.

It did take me a couple of chapters to get into this book but believe me, stick with it. It’s worth it.

Paula Houseman has an original writing style that makes for a very interesting, unputdownable novel and I look forward to what comes next.

 

Odyssey - PAULA HOUSEMAN photo_3About Paula…

Paula Houseman was once a graphic designer. But when the temptation to include ‘the finger’ as part of a logo for a forward-moving women’s company proved too much, she knew it was time to give away design. Instead, she took up writing.

She found she was a natural with the double entendres (God knows she’d been in enough trouble as a child for dirty wordplay).

As a published writer of earthy chick lit and romantic comedy, Paula gets to bend, twist, stretch and juice up universal experiences to shape reality the way she wants it, even if it is only in books. But at the same time, she can make it more real, so that her readers feel part of the sisterhood. Or brotherhood (realness has nothing to do with gender).

Through her books, Paula also wants to help the reader escape into life and love’s comic relief. And who doesn’t need to sometimes?

Her style is a tad Monty Pythonesque because she adores satire. It helps defuse all those gaffes and thoughts that no one is too proud of.

Paula lives in Sydney, Australia with her husband. No other creatures. The kids have flown the nest and the dogs are long gone.

Say hi to Paula on TwitterGoodreadsFacebook and LinkedIn.

Odyssey in a Teacup is available now. Click to view on Amazon UK 

 

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Laura
I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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