Thursday, October 6, 2011

Review: Betsy Wickwire's Dirty Secret by Vicki Grant

Betsy’s life is officially over: Dumped by her boyfriend, betrayed by her best friend . . . how is she ever going to show her face again? 

Determined to avoid everyone and everything from her previous life, Betsy stumbles into an unusual café and an even more unusual girl. Dolores Morris—a mouthy, green-haired outsider Betsy can’t quite remember from school—talks her into starting a cleaning service. Before she knows it, Betsy is down on her knees, dressed like a dust bunny, scrubbing strangers’ toilets. 

It’s a long way for the most popular girl in school to have fallen. But Betsy finds comfort in the wine bottles and prescriptions and other dirty secrets she finds hidden in her clients’ homes. She also finds love with a client’s son, friendship with Dolores and a liberated sense of herself. Her new life soon falls apart, though, when valuables begin to go missing from some of the homes she and Dolores have been cleaning. Betsy discovers the hard way that not all dirty secrets can just be swept under the rug.

Available from  Chapters, HarperCollins Canada,

Betsy Wickwire's story is a completely relatable one: having your heart broken in such an overwhelming manner has happened a million times over. And Betsy's ensuing desire to hide herself from the world....well,who hasn't wanted to do that at one time or another? It's these initial reactions to Vicki Grant's Betsy Wickwire's Dirty Secret  that had me hooked..

Further into the story though, it's Betsy's awakening that is the real appeal. So many people these days are tunnel visioned when it comes to life that when they finally (if they ever do) open their eyes, they begin to understand that life is never what they expected. It's easy to see, in Betsy, that this is very true for her. She pictured things going one way and by the end of the story, life has completely altered from her expectations. I must admit to a certain amount of envy towards the main character being able to achieve this at such a young age. I didn't come out of my own 'life bubble' until much, much later. Kudos to Vicki Grant for creating  the circumstances (and writing it all out for others to perhaps learn from) to make this all happen.

The best part in Betsy Wickwire's Dirty Secret was definitely the character growth but there were other fun elements in the story too. Betsy's scene in the smoothie shop? Priceless....and fairly disgusting! With this story taking place in Nova Scotia, it was also neat to read about particularly recognizable places, like Tim Horton's, Giant Tiger, and Value Village. For a Canadian reader, there was a certain amount of familiarity in these; for an international reader, it allowed a sneak peek into some of our more, uh,  interesting commercial ventures.

I really enjoyed this book. It was a light, fun read with a nice message and I look forward to checking out Ms. Grant's backlist. I hope you all get the opportunity to read Betsy Wickwire's Dirty Secret too! I'm unsure if its availability worldwide, but it's worth the search.


Mel (He Followed Me Home) said...

The reminds me a bit of Bridget's Jones Diary. Sounds like a fun read - now I want to know what happened in the smoothie shop!

Jackie said...

I think it had a good amount of humour in it, maybe similar to Bridget Jones in the self-deprecating fashion. It wasn't over the top, where her misery was concerned, which was nice. You felt for the girl but it wasn't overplayed. I think you'll like it :)

Unknown said...

I think this book relates to a teenagers life. a teens life is hard just like betsy was in the book. a lot of girls get dumped by their ex-boyfriend which sucks, but it's life

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