miranda - Theatres in small towns: Book Review Miranda Rewritten
Durango Street Theatre Series, Book 7
by Emily Mims
Women's fiction, Contemporary fiction
Boroughs Publishing Group
Pub Date 29 Jun 2021
four star - Theatres in small towns: Book Review

THE BEST KEPT SECRETS

Durango's production manager, Miranda Jenks is straightforward and honest. She deals with life head-on no matter what it brings, and she's not afraid to speak her mind. But... she's been harboring a soul-destroying secret for years, and when Ross Ellis returns to town to try to clean up his mess, she can't tell him the truth.

Ross has made more mistakes than he can count, and all of them are worse than horrible. The only reason he's bothered to come back to his farm is for his teenage daughter, and he hopes like hell she'll let him make amends.

Miranda is the last person he'd thought would forgive him, and as they spend more time together he finds they fill each other's gaps. Until he uncovers the lies she's been keeping for years.

Two lonely people who understand each other better than most must find a way to heal the breach or they'll never get to the happy they're reaching for.

 This is a small town romance with Miranda being the starring character of the story and also the general manager of the small town theatre company around which the story circulates.

We also have a character who managed to have Covid very severely and so this story was written during the pandemic.

The book covers a wide range of issues that could affect a person, from how alcoholism can affect lives until the nth generation. It is not true, although often said, that alcoholism is a reflection of an addictive personality. It is not. What people have is a Substance Use Disorder, to which genetics can contribute 40-60% of the likelihood of a person acquiring it. But it is not set in stone that will happen. But it is more likely when the person also has a mental health condition which affects them.

The story begins with Miranda pondering the fact that she covered up for her best friend who died in a terrible car accident. At the time her friend was coming back from committing adultery with Miranda’s brother, but she permitting her friend’s husband and the family to believe that instead she had been coming back from a late session with the local amateur dramatic society. Her friend Renee had a daughter who Miranda loved, but also an alcoholic abusive father, who blamed the theatre company for his wife’s death and refused to let his daughter become involved. And who then disappeared so that his daughter had to live with her grandparents.

One reason that Miranda championed Emma was because she had remained a stalwart friend to Miranda’s young son who had dies of childhood cancer.

So the story starts with grief and emotional issues upfront.

Miranda however, as the story proves, is a forgiving soul and likes to help others as it mitigates her sorrow at her son’s death.

We thus have a cast of characters with many faults and issues to deal with. Which are covered empathetically. The style draws you in and the rawness of the emotions keeps you reading. Overall, this book would be good to read if you are in a similar situation to young Emma, as the trauma caused by SUD is covered in such a way that it can be easily understood, and the awareness that this is not an illness that can be cured, but rather one that needs constant attention and work.

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