Thursday, July 21, 2011

PINCH ME by Adena Halpern

PINCH ME – Adena Halpern
Touchstone
ISBN: 978-1-4391-7114-1
July 2011
Contemporary Fiction

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Present Day

All her life, Lily Burns has been told by her mother and grandmother that the women of the family are cursed and the men they fall in love with and marry are doomed to have something bad happen to them. So Lily has been advised by them to not fall in love and only marry someone “who is short, bald, fat, stupid, and treats you badly.” This hasn’t stopped Lily from falling in love with pediatrician Gogo Goldblatt, a man who has made her very happy, even if marriage isn’t on her mind. When Gogo proposes to her at the Eiffel Tower in France, all she can hear in her head is her family’s voices telling her not to accept. But Lily eventually ignores the inner voices and elopes with Gogo. On their wedding night, she can hardly believe her good fortune. Then she asks him to “pinch her” and her life magically and abruptly changes. Gogo is gone, with a new life in another realm. Lily is left bereft.

After she returns home to confess her sins (of marrying a man she loves), Lily learns from her mother and grandmother about the origins of the curse placed on them by a jilted relative. The curse’s legend is that if they marry a wonderful man for love, his perfect life is doomed. The effect on Gogo is that he is now married to another woman and is no longer a doctor, but instead sells downspouts for houses. Lily is beside herself. She has to make him remember her so that they can return to their idyllic life. But this curse is going to be a tough one to break.

Adena Halpern has woven a fascinating modern day fairytale that sounds a lot like the movie A Wonderful Life. Did you ever wonder what would happen if your life turned out differently? Lily thought her life was perfect and that it was going to be even better when she fell in love with Gogo and they planned to live happily ever after. Alas, fate came along, and she’s finding her life spiraling out of control. No Gogo. No job. But she still has her mother, Selma, and her grandmother, Dolly, who are a couple of funny ladies in PINCH ME. Both Selma and Dolly have ingrained the curse into Lily’s head, so when something does happen to her happiness, she becomes bent on finding a way to break the curse. First on her list is to find any living relative of the person who started the curse. Lily tracks down one, her cousin Rose Golden, and the two hit it off. While Rose can’t break the curse for Lily, she’s one hundred percent behind working on helping to get the curse lifted.

In PINCH ME, after Lily “loses” Gogo, she decides to try to have him fall in love with her hoping that he’ll remember her, despite the fact that’s he married to another woman. Lily devises a plan to have Gogo supervise a downspout installation of several houses in her mother’s neighborhood, and Lily will hang around to oversee Gogo. Slowly and surely the two grow closer. Will Gogo remember who Lily is? Selma and Dolly oppose Lily’s plans at first, but when they meet him and discover that he is “the one” she wants, then they fall behind her to assist in the project. Selma and Dolly threaten to steal PINCH ME a few times with their funny antics, such as Dolly’s cooking rotisserie chicken on a bonfire in the front yard and Selma’s quench for exercise (and the cute gym attendant).

If you’ve ever wondered how your life would have been different if it had gone another way, then you get an idea of the premise of PINCH ME. It’s a cute, funny tale that will have you rooting for Lily to succeed and get back with her Gogo. Will she succeed? Pick up the delightful PINCH ME today and find out for yourself.

Patti Fischer

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