Book Review - Essie in Progress

Essie in Progress

By Marjorie Presten

Meet Essie Wells: working mother of two and a half kids; wife of a wonderful man who just happens to be going through a midlife crisis; daughter of a self-styled martyr who doesn’t approve of anything Essie does; daughter-in-law of a wealthy widowed father-in-law who’s been estranged from Essie’s husband for most of his life; neighbor to a dedicated Chihuahua owner. Essie’s life is anything but calm, and especially when her boss announces a new approach to business and designates her a COW in charge of the company’s recycling program. (Yes, a COW. You have to read the book to understand!)

Essie in Progress is Marjorie Presten’s first novel, and I think she’s successfully created a character who will resonate with many of today’s mothers. Essie’s life is busy and chaotic, and her family relationships aren’t perfect – but that’s life for many of us, isn’t it? Besides Essie, who has the honor of being the title character, Presten has created a delightful cast of supporting characters with quirks and problems of their own. My favorite character in the book, in fact, is Ham Wells, Essie’s father-in-law. The story is told partly from his viewpoint, so we get to peek inside the thoughts of a man who has made mistakes in his life, but who is ready for a reconciliation with his estranged son. Almost as fascinating is Ada, the odd neighbor with a passion for Chihuahuas, who she names after Biblical characters. One little guy’s name is Apostle Paul – AP for short.

Thanks to the great folks at Kregel Publications for sending me a review copy of Essie in Progress. I enjoyed it a lot, and recommend it to anyone who likes humorous stories about real people living in today’s world.