Attorney Lauren can’t wait to finalize her divorce in Donna Fasano’s The Merry-Go-Round, so much so that she takes her husband to court to try to force him to sign the papers. Her husband, Greg, explains to the judge that he doesn’t want to accept the divorce because he feels he owes Lauren money and doesn’t want to finalize things until he pays her back. Lauren’s complaint against Greg is that he let his business, a hardware store inherited from his father, go bankrupt, and it cost so much in debts that Lauren had to drain her retirement fund, spending $60,000 on these debts. He did all this without giving her warning of how things were standing, which is Lauren’s main complaint. But finally, once Greg agrees to sign the divorce papers, the judge awards a one-acre property with a “small shack” on it to Lauren, something she has no idea he has had. Lauren is happy to finally be free of this man forever.
But life doesn’t work that way. Because of all the money Lauren had to spend due to Greg’s debts, her father has had to move in with her, since she has been helping him out financially. But on moving day, Lauren is surprised to find Greg at her father’s apartment, there at the request of her father. He keeps showing up at the house, and Lauren learns that he has been showering and doing laundry there the whole time. Then, visiting the cheap tract of land, Lauren finds a good quality barn there, not a cheap, run-down shack. But what is really special is a very old merry-go-round in it. Just as Lauren is checking out this treasure, she hears a noise and finds Greg there. The reason he has been showering at her house is that he has been living in this barn.
The Merry-Go-Round is a personal journey, a book that explores the progress Lauren makes as she learns to grow from a bitter, self-centered woman to one who learns to look past herself to those around her.
The book continues with Lauren’s dating the father of a client, but nothing is quite good enough. It becomes obvious to the reader that despite all Lauren’s complaints against Greg, he is the one with the exceptional character. The readers watch as Lauren grows and matures, with her father providing a nice contrast to her character. He even begins dating Lauren’s assistant and chief confidant.
The audio version of this book is narrated by Margie Lenhart. Lenhart gives a strong performance, giving good voices for each character, while her reading of the narration of this book clearly offers the energy and fun of the book.
The Merry-Go-Round provides a sweet listening experience. Initially I was turned off by this book by the negative attitude of Lauren and all her complaints, but I enjoyed seeing the personal journey of Lauren as she grows as a person. I give this book four stars.
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