Becky Miller, wife and thirty-three-year-old mother of three young children, lives a frantic lifestyle. She works part-time at her church as the Women’s Ministry Director, she shuttles her children to and from school, preschool and nursery, and she tries to find time to be a good wife and a good friend to the ladies in her Bible study group. Stuck in traffic and throughout the course of her day, Becky often daydreams against backdrops of old movies like Casablanca, Gone With the Wind, Mary Poppins, and thirty others, with her own spin on them, of course.
Becky is a problem solver who tends to want to fix everyone else’s situations. She has an unease over Faith Church staff’s near obsession with growth. Eventually, she is forced to reduce her work hours because of the needs of her family, which always remains number one on her “to do” list.
Becky and her husband, Kevin, decide they have outgrown their “starter” house, so in the evenings they househunt for that “dream home.” Becky envisions life with more room, a bigger yard, a more relaxed atmosphere, a better marriage, and more family time. When they finally settle on a fixer-upper in their price range, the added pressure is on Becky to pack, clean and market their old house. An unorganized Becky feels she can’t possibly manage it all. When Kevin tells her that his mother will be moving in with them, Becky shoulders that responsibility as well. What Becky hasn’t counted on is Kevin’s mother, Rose, being in such poor health and so opposed to living with them. Rose never lets an opportunity pass to criticize everything Becky does.
Becky’s sister Judy comes to stay with Becky’s family when she is fired during a hostile corporate takeover. Judy’s life is her work; without
her job, Judy is totally self-absorbed and fails to help Becky, even when Becky’s bad hip and leg become worse. Becky walks with a cane after a bad car accident two years ago. Without taking the time to do therapeutic exercises and take her anti-inflammatory medications, Becky’s condition worsens.
Renovating Becky Miller is a playful look at the frenzy of domesticity in modern times.
At times, the story is reminiscent of some of Erma Bombeck’s work. Every story needs
some conflict, but in this case it is almost overdone. Just reading about this woman’s life
is enough to make the reader’s hair stand up. Vividly developed characters coupled with
a constantly surging and swelling storyline drive the reader on to discovery.