by Leslie Carroll

February 2006
ISBN: 0-06-059613-9
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Trade
Trade Paperback

Susan Lederer became a psychotherapist to help people overcome their emotional roadblocks. She started working pro bono in the laundry room of her apartment building. Several of her neighbors took the opportunity of her services.

Faith: It wasn’t easy for Faith to face every day without her beloved late husband. They should be preparing for their 50th wedding anniversary. Instead she was alone and having a difficult time allowing herself a life separated from the role of wife. With the help of Susan, Faith had to find a way to conquer the guilt she felt.

Talia: She’d known all her life she was meant to dance. It was all Talia had ever wanted. After her divorce she was hit in the face with the knowledge that nothing stayed the same and it gripped her with fear. Was there life after dancing? It seemed cruel to Talia that she’d come so close to her dreams only to have them snatched away. Susan helped in those early morning hours to find the peace Talia needed to discover her inner strengths.

Alice: Alice was dealing with the loss of her grandmother, who was also her best friend. The on-again off-again career of acting did keep the stress levels up, but while Alice was on stage she was able to work through her grief. It was during the rinse cycle Susan helped Alice learn to deal with life off the stage.

Amy: Life was not working out the way she’d planned. She had yet to lose all the weight she’d gained during her pregnancy, unlike her older sisters. Amy believed she needed to be better if she was going to be happy. It infuriated her that her husband didn’t recognize her needs. Susan’s 6 a.m. sessions helped Amy see the real problem.

Then there was Naomi and Claude, a lesbian couple trying to adopt a baby girl. The frustration they felt over the process was tearing at the fabric of their relationship.

Meriel was Amy’s housekeeper – her long-suffering housekeeper. She knew her employer was not a horrible person. Amy just felt overwhelmed. Still it felt good to be able to talk to Susan.

Susan helped the women in her building when her own world was crumbling around her feet. That’s when her neighbors rose to the need of their friend.

Spin Doctor by Leslie Carroll is a character map of women living to please and learning that putting herself first more often is not an unforgivable sin. Nor is admitting they need help every so often. I enjoy character studies and this one was engaging...at first. By the time I was halfway through the book I started getting bored. It could have ended long before it did without losing anything. Do not expect a romance novel when you read Spin Doctor.

Reviewed in June 2006 by Rho.

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