Thursday, December 13, 2012
Bonnie McCune's A Saint Comes Stumbling In
Bonnie McCune credits her tenacity for the successes in her life, and A Saint Comes Stumbling In is proof. Since fifth grade, she has been determined to be a writer. This is her first published novel, but her interest in writing led to her career in nonprofits doing public and community relations and marketing. She’s worked for libraries, directed a small arts organization and managed Denver's beautification program. Simultaneously, she’s been a free lance writer with publications in local, regional, and specialty publications for news and features. Her main interest now is fiction writing, and her pieces have won several awards. Her civic involvement includes grass-roots organizations, political campaigns, writers' and arts' groups, and children's literacy.
For years, she entered recipe contests and was a finalist once to the Pillsbury Cook Off. A special love is live theater. Had she been nine inches taller and thirty pounds lighter, she might have been an actress. For reasons unknown (an unacknowledged optimism?), she believes that one person can make a difference in this world. McCune lives in Denver, Colorado, where she’s been married to the same man forever, has two children and three grandchildren, and is working on a humorous novel about aging.
She’s lost in her own world of hopelessness but her friend, Delores, who works in the cafeteria of the building where the firm has its offices, is more than willing to draw Joan into the dating game. They visit art shows, outdoor concerts, and even try a night out dancing.
Joan has an overwhelming crush on one of the lawyers, Scott, who rents space at the office. She wants to appear attractive but cookies and ice cream have been her friends since the divorce. One evening during one of her downward spirals, Joan watches a movie about Joan of Arc and then and there Joan Nelson decides she can conquer anything.
An old friend from high school, Kevin, shows up at her door. Kevin is a realtor. She is always thrilled to see Kevin, but her fondness for him waivers when she learns James has sent him to sell the house. Kevin is James’ friend but he’s Joan’s friend, too.
She lets Kevin help her list house and when he shows her an apartment for rent in his building, they become neighbors. Joan relies on Kevin for everything from exercise classes to overflowing water heaters. She keeps telling herself he’s a friend and she even asks Kevin how she could win over the lawyer she’s lusting over. Kevin is patient and kind most of the time but everyone can see he’s in love with her, everyone but Joan.
Then disaster strikes at the office. Someone is getting into the company files after hours. All fingers point to Joan as she is the newest employee. Her arch rival, both at the office and in the jousting of approval from Scott, Kimberlee, seems to be doing her best to implicate Joan.
With Kevin’s never ending support, Joan has lost weight and even tried out for the company skit. She secured the leading role only to hear rude comments from Scott and Kimberlee during practice. Kimberlee warns Joan she doesn’t know what she’s getting into with Scott.
Even through tight security, the files continue to disappear and Joan asks Davis, a computer geek, who she and Delores met while out dancing, for assistance. With approval from one of the partners in the firm, Mr. Horowitz, Kevin, Joan, Delores and Davis set up a sting operation to catch the culprit.
Will Joan catch the criminal and discover she can stand on her own two feet? Will she understand her experiences with men started long ago when a piece to a childhood puzzle is revealed? Does Joan realize love is waiting where she least expects it?
Ms McCune gives us a soul-searching glance into the lives of many women who have stuck out on love and think they’re mired in unproductive circumstances. Ms McCune brings redemption to Joan Nelson’s circumstances and while the reader fears Joan will never see all the attributes of her long time friend, Kevin, love wins out in the end. Well done, Bonnie.
The book is available at PRISM Book Group
Bonnie's blog: http://bonniemccune.com/