The Interruption of Everything by Terry McMillan

Imagine you are in your forties, peri-menopausal and bored with your husband, your children have left home but your mother in law and her dog have been living with you and your husband for over a year.

What would be your worst nightmare in this situation?

Whatever scenario you imagine, Terry McMillan puts Marilyn, the heroine of ‘The Interruption of Everything’, through much worse.

At the beginning of the book, Marilyn has spent years looking after her family at the expense of her own needs and can’t remember when her “dreams stopped being real and reality wiped out the dreams.”
Marilyn’s husband, Leon, is going through a mid life crisis of his own (which reminds me of an old joke. What’s the difference between a clown and a man having a mid-life crisis? The clown knows he’s wearing ludicrous clothes).

Her mother in law, Arthurine, regularly self diagnoses herself with an assortment of illnesses, and according to Marilyn, has “voluntary amnesia” which prevents her from being of any use around the house. Marilyn’s mother appears to be in the early to mid stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, and to further complicate things, Marilyn’s drug addicted sister and her neglected children live with her mother in a increasing state of disarray. Luckily she has strength, good friends, a hunky ex-husband sniffing around and loads of attitude to cope with the seemingly endless trials that come her way.

This is a funny book, not in a laugh out loud way, but in an ‘I can identify with that kind of way’. Marilyn, her family and friends are all good people and even though Marilyn is abrasive and has it in for everyone at times, she is very likeable and I felt as if I was on her side while I was reading ‘The Interruption of Everything’.

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