Nursing battle scars from one too many bad relationships, Miranda Blue decides to go into hiding. Total isolation is the plan, in a town that doesn’t even warrant a pin-prick on most maps. She can avoid temptation that way, and focus solely on her new business, Respect for Your Elders, a companionship telephone service for the elderly or infirm.
What Miranda doesn’t count on is her sole neighbor being so charming and persistent. Nor does she expect a few of her clients to band together with the sole purpose of helping her grab happiness before the moment passes her by.
Miranda Blue Calling is, at its core, a relationship novel. I wouldn’t call it a romance, because it doesn’t follow the cookie-cutter romance genre – while there is longing, and plenty of pining, the lusty encounters are refreshingly absent. Michelle Curry Wright has followed the theory that less is more, and that things left to the imagination are far more appealing.
Both Miranda and her neighbor, William Wadsworth Steadman (Billy), have exiled themselves from others for good reason. Throughout the novel, their convictions are tested, their perspectives shifted, and the walls of their self-imposed confinement leveled.
A number of interesting supporting characters wiggle into the lives of the dueling neighbors: Miranda’s sister – the gold-digging, insect-studying globetrotter; Sullivan – Billy’s long-time friend and womanizer par excellence; and even Carson Sung – a local author on the verge of fame and instantly smitten with Miranda’s pale ethereal eyes.
The plotting of this novel is uncomplicated, and the interaction between the characters takes precedence over all else. Witty dialogue abounds, making this novel a pleasure to read and enlightening to contemplate. With a few twists in the road, Miranda Blue Calling is a winding journey down the dirt road of life, with all of its imperfections, potholes and ruts.
The characters are real, three-dimensional with worries, quirks and even a bit of spunk. Some quote poetry, some collect vintage plastic dinnerware, some grow greenery in a secret room in the basement. And as unique as the individuals are in this book, when they get together nothing is every staid and mundane. Just ask Miranda how she lost her eyebrows!
For Michelle Curry Wright, this novel is her second to grace the shelves of every bookstore from coast to coast. Her debut novel, Wait and See, Annie Lee, was a very good read – but I think Ms. Curry Wright has only improved upon what she already did so well. And I expect the next book she releases to be even better.
So, if you are looking for a light, whimsical book to enjoy while tanning on the beach or sipping homemade lemonade by the pool this summer, whet your whistle with Miranda Blue Calling. Cheers!