Sunday, August 15, 2010

“Getting Rid of Rosie” by Lynda Simmons, reviewed by Sherry Isaac

As a Canadian writer with novels and shorts set in the GTA, Winnipeg and the rural farming communities of Manitoba, it was cool to come across an author who has successfully sold stories set in Toronto, and in the case of Getting Rid of Rosie, in the heart of the Danforth with a side trip to Huntsville. And sold it to an American publisher, no less.

Lynda Simmons writing is fresh, her settings vivid, her characterizations full of life, complexity and even a little contradiction. Throw in a ghost with unresolved issues and I was hooked.

Samantha Marcello lost the love of her life to her best friend, Rosie. Nearly a decade later Sam has followed her dream to own an Irish pub when Michael Hughes walks back into her life. He’s free again, a widower with a daughter, and apparently keen to pick up where they had left off. The hitch? Rosie is still around, influencing and manipulating Michael and their daughter Julie, but only Sam can see her.

The plot could have been predictable: Hold Grandmother’s séance at bay while pulling out the big guns on a full-out exorcism in Huntsville where Rosie lived with Michael and is strongest. Let Sam eliminate Rosie as competition once and for all and take her rightful place at Michael’s side, righting the wrongs of the past.

Instead Ms. Simmons treats us to twists and turns, changes of heart and conflicting emotions. Sam is not the girl Michael left behind.

Getting Rid of Rosie is light and fun, a romp ripe for summer picking, a great read for an afternoon on the deck, a day at the beach, or a long weekend in Muskoka.

Sherry Isaac has published several pieces in Quick Brown Fox. You can read one of her short stories here and other book reviews by Sherry here, here and here. She’s also been published in The New Mystery Reader and in Canadian Voices, Volume One. Her short story, “The Forgetting,” placed first in the Alice Munro Contest in 2009. She is also co-host of Prana Presents, a venue featuring the work of Toronto’s hottest new authors and poets.

Lynda Simmons was the guest speaker at a workshop Sherry attended in London. “I was so impressed by her that I had to pick up a copy of Getting Rid of Rosie,” says Sherry. “And I enjoyed the book so much I had to write a review.” Visit Sherry on the web at

Note: Lynda Simmons will be the guest speaker at the upcoming “How to Build Your Story” workshop on Saturday, Oct 29, in Toronto (details here) and on Saturday, Jan 28, in Newmarket (details here). 

For information about all of Brian’s writing workshops and creative writing courses, see here.

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