Friday, August 16, 2013

Momnesia by Lori Verni-Fogarsi


She's smart, pretty, and runs her own business. So then why does she feel so dead inside? Between work, two kids, and a husband who finds her about as exciting as furniture shopping, this is the story of a (formerly-exciting but now way-too-typical) suburban mom who diagnoses herself with Momnesia and sets about finessing a new version of her old vivaciousness:

Momnesia (mahm-nee-zhuh) -noun-
Loss of the memory of who you used to be. Caused by pregnancy, play dates, and trying to keep the house cleaner than the Joneses.

She finds some adventure pursing her own interests, makes some new friends (including the battery operated variety), but still feels like nothing more than a caretaker.

In between dealing with her husband's manic-depresssive behavior, drama with her friends, and some naughty Internet escapades, she ponders, Is it that I haven't been myself? Or is it that I am being myself, but just different from how I used to be?

It isn't until she tosses the Invisible Rule Book altogether that she discovers life—and love—have more to offer than she ever imagined!


Momnesia is a thoroughly enjoyable book.  I'm not sure how much of that I suffered from having been the wife of a submarine sailor who was stationed aboard fast attack nuclear submarines.  I was still in the Navy when we got married and it took six months for us to get stationed together.  The year after I got out of the Navy, he was gone for nine months, etc.  So I was pretty independent.  Although there was one evening I was out listening to a friend who was a folk singer at a bar on Waikiki.  I was chatting with an Air Force officer at the next table.  Between sets Russ came over to my table and started to introduce me to the gentleman.  After a minute's hesitation, Russ shrugged and said, “This is Tim's wife.”  Not that the guy had ever met Tim.  Russ just couldn't remember my name.

Momnesia starts in a supermarket parking lot.  Our Heroine is sitting in her car and suddenly, she can't remember whether she's done her shopping or not.  The car is stifling, but she lives in North Carolina so that's nothing new.  She's sweating, but she also has the chills.  Has she done her shopping or hasn't she?  For the past year she's been debating whether or not to get a divorce, along with help from a few very close friends, a marriage counselor, and the “Two Little Guys Inside Her Head.”  Now she literally doesn't know if she's coming or going.  She finally forces herself to look into the back of the car to see whether or not there are groceries there…

The rest of the first part of the book chronicles the year leading up Our Heroine's Grocery Store Incident and her subsequent drive home to ask her husband for a divorce.  Oh, it wasn't just that year that led up to the divorce.  That was how long she'd actively been debating the issue.  She'd been unhappy long before then.  Part Two of the book chronicles her separation, six months of which she spends first trying to chivvy her husband out of the bedroom, and then out of the house.  He doesn't argue; he isn't exactly abusive; he just doesn't get it.  He's really rather pathetic.  And he's bi-polar.  Not my kind of fly into a rage and then sleep it off and feel worthless bi-polar; the sleep for weeks and then start a huge project (like hacking a hole in the house for a bay window) and go back to the TV kind.  Most of the time when she confronts him about anything or even asks a yes/no/I don’t know question, he just looks at her, unblinking.  She calls it his cat face.  (I had a boyfriend with that face.  Drove me nuts.)  Many scenes end with:  “Cat face.  Ugh!”

Our Heroine tells us about her stretch marks, and laments about her “Chicken Belly Flap Thing” left over from giving birth to her daughters, Grace and Rose that she just can't get rid of no matter how many push-ups she does.  She talks about strapping herself into her (and I'm paraphrasing because I can' recall the exact quote here) "Push 'em up and show 'em off" bra when she starts dating after the separation.  There’s even a surprise ending when we share the end of Our Heroine’s submersion of Self and ultimate Blooming Moment.  Definitely no cat face on that page!  Yay!

Momnesia is a perfect book for clubs.  It even has a list of discussion questions at the back.  But whether you’re in a club or not; you’ll enjoy this book.  The final paragraph of the blurb was a bit of hype and I usually don’t like hype in blurbs, but in this case, I’m adding it here.  Because I agree completely.

“With custom-painted cover art that perfectly epitomizes the struggle of finding balance between "momminess" and "sexiness," Momnesia is a must read for anyone who has ever been a mother, had a mother, wanted to be a mother, judged a mother, or even just wondered about mothers. A great gift book, too!”

Just buy it—for you and all the moms and non-moms in your life.

Length:  288 Pages
Paperback:  $11.99
E-Book:  On Sale Until 08-19-13  $1.99

Thanks for visiting.  RIW

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