To bridge the gap between light summer reading and a more sobering fall book list, I took a break on Maggie McGuinness’ well-crafted planet. This was a hilarious journey from marriage to single life that manages to rocket home for a satisfying landing.
The story begins with Kat, happily settled into a marriage where she is content with her husband’s whiteboard task-mastering mentality. She escapes into her own fantasy stories on long walks at night, after noting her absence on the whiteboard, of course.
But one rainy night, she “squelched through the door” to find her husband waiting for her with two coffees on their fluorescent lit kitchen table. After waiting to be criticized “over the greasy pans (she’d) abandoned in the sink,” and after letting her mind wander to eyebrow length, the effectiveness of hair straighteners, and how her latest fantasy would end, she got something she had not expected. Her husband and father of their two young boys was dumping her.
Many laughs, life lessons, and promising prospects later, we find Kat at the end of a book I’d hoped would never end, peacefully settled onto another planet. One between singleness and marriage. “After all, who really knows these things? You just have to wait and see.”
I loved the main character’s joie de vivre. She reinvented herself with aplomb and found enduring friendships in the process. Kat embraces all that one would hope to be at such a difficult stage in life. Neither fearful or overly confident, she navigated the knocks and adventures that ensued with grace, hilarity and heart.
If you are in denial that summer is over, and need a soulful but funny book to transition you into the next season, I highly recommend “Planet Single.”