Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Confessions of an Unbalanced Woman, by Emily Watts - A Review

I love Emily Watts. She was product manager for The Lodger and After Goliath, the first two books in the Spider Latham Mystery series and my first published works, and she made me feel pretty special.

The first time I met Emily in person was when my daughters and I were on a book tour with the multimedia presentation “Letters from Afghanistan” and stopped at the Salt Lake Library. I called Emily and said I was going to be in town and would like to meet her, but the only time she had available was during the presentation. Since my role in the tour was nanny, she joined me on the library roof as I kept an eye on five very active children.

It was only later that I realized that it might have been presumptuous for a freshman writer to ask a person of Emily Watts’ stature in the publishing company to help babysit, but she genuinely seemed to be glad to be there, and we spent a wonderful hour in conversation. She made me feel like an old friend.

So, when a young mother recently brought me Emily Watts’ book, Confessions of an Unbalanced Woman and said, “You’ve got to read this book. She made me feel she was talking just to me, that she understood what I’m going through,” I knew what she meant. Emily has that ability.

This isn’t a new book. It came out in 2006. It’s a slim volume and is actually the text of a talk she gave at Time Out for Women, but it was new to me.

Emily bonds with her readers immediately as she recounts her experience with unmatched socks and other laundry issues. As she uses the unbalanced washing machine as a metaphor of a life that’s out of kilter and talks about her quest for balance, you’re nodding , because you know that this is your quest, too.

I love Emily for the admission that the time management seminar she attended in her quest didn’t solve any problems, but only added a layer of guilt. (Yes! There’s someone else out there who makes lists and loses them.)

Emily takes us through several experiences in this quest—some hilarious, some poignant--but in the last pages she doesn’t tell us she found the magic formula for achieving balance. What she says is, “…I have learned there is something better than balance—something more desirable and more attainable and infinitely more practical.”

She tells us what it is, but you have to read this delightful little book to find out the answer for yourself.


Cheri J. Crane said...

This sounds like a wonderful book, something I'll have to read in the near future. =)

Monique said...

I've been meaning to read this one for a while. Guess I'd better get to it!