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Hearts on a String

Hearts on a StringHearts On a String, Kris Radish’s newest novel, ties together the lives of five women flying solo.  They first meet in the Tampa airport bathroom where Nan has lost her cell phone – literally flushing her entire life down the toilet. A brewing spring storm simultaneously grounds all flights for days.   These unlikely cohorts instantly lose their connections to their own busy, complicated lives.  I was read this book the weekend  volcanic ash shut down airports all over the world, which added an uncanny realistic touch to the story.

Faced with the prospect of sleeping with the masses stranded in the airport terminal, they make the risky, spur-of-the-moment decision to pool their resources and ride out the storm in a luxury beachfront suite. Even as the rental car heads to their destination, each woman is gripped by the instinct that sleeping on one of those hard plastic chairs in the terminal might be preferable to cohabitation with this diversely different group of strangers.

The characters are as unlike as they are complex. Nan is the tough-as-nails business woman hanging onto her finance job and husband with a thread. Cathy, a human resource professional, is much better at hanging onto men than relating to other women—including Nan’s husband, we soon discover. Holly is a fantastic hairstylist who’s lived in the shadow of her three married sisters. Margo is the stay-at-home mother – but she seems to be something more. Patti is a torch singer who harbors a dark secret about her past.

On arrival at their  hotel, they discover a Psychic convention in full swing. And those notes slipped under their door add to the mystery. The luxury of the suite is soon overshadowed by the relentless rain and winds – and the blow-out (or break-in?) of their glass patio doors.

It takes days for the bonding to begin, as each woman attempts to stake out her own space – this provides for  humor  written in Radish's inimitable style.  The women reluctantly enter into the exercise of female bonding, swapping stories, sharing secrets, and seeking answers about life, love, and what they really want to do when they return to the “real” world. In typical Radish fashion, their exchanges are candid and most often food- and/or alcohol-enhanced and inspired. One by one, they realize they have more in common than they ever could have imagined. They realize that their lives are infinitely bonded and they will never have to fly solo again.

It’s as if Radish has a pocketful of estrogen that she can fling into each exchange and each chapter as she writes. She’s once again captured the essence of female empowerment in yet another page-turner. Again, I've bonded with a new assembly of female friends.

Buy Hearts on a String: A Novel here
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