Thursday, October 5, 2017

Book Review: 'The Oys & Joys' by Marcia Feldt

Texas author Marcia Feldt graduated UCLA, worked in Public Accounting then founded Feldt Personnel Consultants, moved into real estate for a while and now lives and writes in Austin and Lake Conroe. She has dipped into the literary field with the first of what promises to be a series of novels based on her Bubble Bath List – providing recollections insights, memories and tattling on her baby boomer generation. Her writing is at once hilarious, very contemporary, and brings into focus the conundrums that face baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) and the adjustments to social media and all that accompanies growing older into middle age surrounded by generations that find boomers obsolete – until Marcia Feldt came along.

She lists on her website (see, very with it!) some explanations of her life and how she came to write THE OYS AND JOYS, even providing a definition of ‘oy’ for those uninformed (Oy or Oy vey - terms to express exasperation, dismay, calamity or any other sense of woe. Yiddish origin but so widely used, now integrated into American colloquialisms, and in dictionaries around the world), the BBL (Bubble Bath List - a need it or/and desire it list – just sort of an updated Bucket List), and The Wedgie Generation (those on the back side of middle age that are wedged in-between the past and the future and— since closer to the epilogue than the prologue of their lives— find themselves at a crossroads between choosing action or forever facing regret).

And from that bit of background there is a bit of flavor of Marcia’s writing. She condenses her story for us – ‘Every woman buries secrets. Even from herself. Lizzie, Grace, Sassie and Ruby – They laugh together, cry together, and keep each other together through life’s Oys & Joys. Until the tragic consequences of a decades’ old betrayal threatens the trust between them. Four vividly drawn women, intimately familiar and impossible to forget, shuttle back and forth in time, between menopause and youthful heartbreak, middle-age crises and the dramas of life, death, and self-reinvention. A story of unlocking truth. Of defeating regret. Of the power of steel-laced friendships. But sometimes, the back side of middle age shoves the past, and the secrets it harbors, into the present. And secrets never die quietly.’

These four ladies become wholly thee dimensional characters in a manner of a few pages and once we get to know them we don’t want to miss a gossipy moment. They are fun, funny, devoted, secretive, caustic at times, get into all manner of adventures – all with a salty taste of humor and honesty and caring that makes us want them to just hang around far longer than the novel. But then this is a series – so likely we’ll be with them a long time. Welcome to their world. Grady Harp, February 17

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.