Otherwise Engaged
By Jennifer Wardrip
Mar 1, 2005 - 5:06:00 AM

I'll admit it up front - I am a huge fan of Ms. Goudge's work. She has the ability to mix women's fiction with romance, tragedy, hope, and love in a seamless mix of words on a page. I began reading her work years ago, and I'm glad I never stopped. If I had, I never would have had the pleasure of reading OTHERWISE ENGAGED, a book that hit me particularly hard.

What woman-for that matter, what human-hasn't at least once in their life wondered what would happen if they could change places with someone who has a seemingly enviable lifestyle? Everyone that I know-from my children, to my friends, to my co-workers, to my mother-has, at one point in time, pondered the question "Who would you want to be if you could trade places with someone for one day?"


In OTHERWISE ENGAGED, best friends, Jessie Holland and Erin Delahanty, get that chance; one that few of us ever will experience. For Jessie, being a journalist in New York City is the epitome of everything she's ever wanted. She'd never in a million years exchange her middle-of-the-night take-out meals and trips on the subway for a middle-class, hum-drum lifestyle in the middle of nowhere. As for Erin, owning a bed-and-breakfast in a rural Arizona town is the fulfillment of her dreams, with a seemingly perfect marriage and a great teenage daughter.


What isn't so obvious is that Jessie and Erin are both suffering-Jessie needs a hot story to propel her career into overdrive, Erin and her husband are fighting almost non-stop, and both women want only to be somewhere else, someone else, for the time it takes to figure out how to fix whatever is wrong.


OTHERWISE ENGAGED is a wonderful book. Two best friends, both at crossroads in their life, decide to switch places—just to see, of course, if you can really go home again, if the "what ifs" are better than the reality, and if the grass is any greener on the other side. Highly recommended, Ms. Goudge once again proves that life is what you make it to be-and that, in itself, isn't necessarily a bad thing.

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