- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Red Dress Ink (Mar. 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0373250525
- ISBN-13: 978-0373250523
- Product Dimensions: 20.2 x 12.9 x 2 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,061,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Starting from Square Two (Red Dress Ink (Numbered Paperback)) Paperback – Mar 2004
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More About the Author
Gert Healy thought she was finished with dating. She thought she's never again have to worry about what to wear and what to say and whether she was pretty enough. She thought that she'd be picking out strollers and booties for the children she and her husband were planning to have. Instead, she's mourning his loss and coming to terms with being a widow at twenty nine. It's back to square one on everything. Well, actually she's done it all before. Square two, then. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
This isa great RBI book, Ms. Lissner gives the grown-up emotions to the reader.The only reason that I didn't give "Starting from Sqaure Two" was that theErika character was over the top.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I found the character of Erika extremely compelling and she was with whom I most identified with. I loved reading the lack of understanding between Gert and Erika and towards the end how Gert came to almost empathasize with Erika's situation. When an ex boyfriend cuts you out of their life (even when the breakup is on your part) and the only contact you have with him is an abprupt and cold e-mail or info from the new girlfriend's website it is like a death and hence you have to mourn the loss, as I believe Erika learned. While this is very different from Gert's loss, Gert came to understand that everyone's pain is in fact, painful to them, and I liked seeing her slowly shed her judgements. The Gert/Hallie relationship was also very well developed and kept in tune with the theme of change. Hallie was nicely created and the dynamic between the three women was very realistic. The references to 9/11 are subtle, are go along with the theme of change. The world is changing along with us and we must keep up or die trying. I found this novel comforting in many ways. Life goes on, regardless of tragedy. Like an unstoppable treadmill, we all must tread through and learn to find to see the good in things. This book is certainly a fantastic place to start.
Overall, I thought the book was truly phenomenal. I loved the mix of seriousness and humor and the message was hopeful and positive.
In the book, Gert Healy lost her husband Marc a year and a half ago. Her friends, who have been single for a long time, think it's time to take her out in New York City to get back into the dating arena. But she met her husband, Marc, in college, so she has no clue what dating is like out of school. She thinks her friends have always whined over nothing. But she also finds it hard to imagine dating anyone new. She goes along with her friends only because she thinks it might be good to get out of the house.
I won't spoil all of the things that happen next, but the book says alot about how you should be able to get over someone at your own rate. A character who was very interesting was Gert's friend Erika, who is obsessive about an ex-boyfriend she still cares about. Even if she goes too far, she says she can't help it, and it's an interesting look at how people get closure on things. I enjoyed reading it.
On her first outing, she meets Todd and they hit it off, much to the dismay of her friends. Apparently their rules state you cannot date the first guy you meet. Soon her friend Hallie is asking to be set up with his friend. Gert's relationship with Todd is sweet - the polar opposite of Marc. As they get closer, she realizes that she must eventually tell him about Marc. When she finally does, he appears understanding, and then slowly seems to drift away (but perhaps it is all in her mind).
Meanwhile, Erika is stalking former boyfriend Ben and his wife. She dumped Ben in college, and after three months, decided he was her soul mate. Of course, he found another soul mate, married her, and now has a second baby on the way. Ben's wife is so happy that she has created a webpage that Erika becomes obsessed with, which eventually takes it's toll on Erika's sanity.
The story is heart wrenching, particularly Gert's moments of reflective solitude, her participation in grief counseling comprised primarily of young widows from the 9/11 tragedy (Marc died a few days prior), and the feeling that while her friends mean well, they really don't have a clue what she's going through. Notht ekind of friends a widow would want to surround herself with. Another book with a similar theme is "Good Grief" by Lolly Winston.
I also commend readings by Caren Lissner (so - full disclosure - I've been to one, and I met her!). Witty, dry, extemporaneous. If you're in an area where she has one, you should go.
Did I have a beef? Well, maybe one. Todd, a potential love interest, seemed a little indistinct to me. But that might be me - I like characters with plenty of edgy qualities! Overall, though - highly recommended!