No Ordinary Life
By: Suzanne Redfearn
Publisher: Grand Central
Publication Date: 2/2/2016
My Rating: 4 Stars
Suzanne Redfearn delivers another gripping page-turner in her latest novel, a story about a young mother's fight to protect her children from the dangerous world of Hollywood.
Faye Martin never expected her husband to abandon her and her three children . . . or that she'd have to struggle every day to make ends meet. So when her four-year-old daughter is discovered through a YouTube video and offered a starring role on a television series, it seems like her prayers have been answered. But when the reality of their new life settles in, Faye realizes that fame and fortune don't come without a price. And in a world where everyone is an actor and every move is scrutinized by millions, it's impossible to know who to trust, and Faye finds herself utterly alone in her struggle to save her family.
Emotionally riveting and insightful, NO ORDINARY LIFE is an unforgettable novel about the preciousness of childhood and the difficult choices a mother needs to make in order to protect this fragile time in her children's lives.
A special thank you to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.. Suzanne Redfearn returns following the compelling Hush Little Baby, with her latest, NO ORDINARY LIFE--a riveting domestic suspense of one single mother’s desperate struggle for survival; a twisted disturbing obsessive fan, and the ultimate cost of fame and fortune. Torn between their lives before and after stardom. The trials and tribulations; greed, damage, regret, guilt - surviving the Hollywood fallout. Living in Yucaipa, CA, Faye is a young single mother. Husband Sean, left months earlier, on one of his trucking routes, and never returned. During such time, Faye receives no support or income to help raise the children. They are struggling, barely getting by financially. At least the kids are happy where they are, even though they live on less; enjoying the outdoor open areas, horses, and close friends. Molly (four), Tom (eight), and Emily (twelve). Molly is outgoing, Tom speaks at home; however, at school, he remains mute (selective mutism). Faye is a good mother; however, she does not broadcast her husband has been gone for months, and the school continues to question why she is not getting Tom into therapy. She has no money for therapy, rent, to repair their van, nor get the kids new shoes for school. It is time to move to LA with her mom—her last resort, since they do not get along. Family services is called in and she knows she has to have help. Emily, the oldest is devastated about the move, a lover of horses and the open spaces. Versus a condo at her grandmothers. Faye got married early, and has no education beyond high school or job skills except being a waitress. Shortly after moving to LA, her four- year-old daughter is discovered via YouTube with her winning personality and street dance moves. A PI and agent tracks her down, and GAP is interested in Molly for a commercial. The grandmother is delighted, since her world revolves around celebrities; however, Faye is not sure she wants to subject her daughter to this world. However, she soon learns the money will help them with the expenses, a place to live, and a new car. She can be Molly’s manager. She is excited and sees this as her way out of this black hole. Everything seems to be going along well, until the loser ex-husband (they are not divorced), comes back in to the picture to get his hands on half the money. He is manipulative, and tries to get custody of the kids, and in the meantime Tom is now part of the celebrity status and joins Molly, and their entire world begins changing. A mother is swept up in a thrilling world of fame and money. Proud of her two stars, Molly and Tom. However, the older daughter, Emily is caught up in the fascination which turns to evil and devastation. With binding contracts, she cannot just up and leave in the middle of the series. What if it were your child, caught up in a terrifying world of politics, greed, hectic schedules, demands, politics, law suits, contracts, and obsessive dangerous fans? They are unable to live life like a normal child. When a dangerous stalker gets too close, decisions have to be made in order to take control. Redfearn does a fantastic job with Molly’s character—she has a winning personality, and is not caught up in the hair, makeup, and dresses—she likes her overalls, and her raw wit and simple charm, draws you in. You can envision her on stage, winning hearts. At times Faye could be naïve, weak, selfish, and at times a coward; however, down deep she loves her children, a good mother, and just wants a better life for her children. Sometimes she makes impulsive and reckless decisions, which lead to negative conclusions. However, she experiences tremendous growth from the beginning of the book to the end---finally getting the courage to take control of her life. The entire time I was reading the story, I continued to think about JonBenet Ramsey—the six-year-old-star, murdered. I was living in Atlanta when all this occurred and the Ramsey Atlanta home was only a mile away from where I lived. Riding by each day, I continued to wonder what really happened that Christmas night in 1996. Can relate to being a single mom, which can be tough financially, and the wars between parents. Cover love—(adorable). Enjoyed Suzanne Redfearn’s writing, while she captured the raw emotions, of each character for an engaging and thought-provoking read. I look forward forward to reading Hush Little Baby, which I missed along the way (have heard rave reviews).
A compelling story of family, frustration, and the unexpected consequences of a mother’s choice, No Ordinary Life provides a dazzling look inside the entertainment industry and the lure and lunacy of child stardom. -- Lori Nelson Spielman, International Bestselling Author of The Life List
“Compulsively readable, a gripping exploration of a mother’s love and the lengths she’ll go to protect her children.
--Heather Gudenkauf, NYT Bestselling Author
Born and raised on the east coast, Suzanne moved to California when she was fifteen. She currently lives in Laguna Beach with her husband, their two kids, a Cockapoo named Cooper, and a cat named Motley. They own a restaurant in town called Lumberyard (LBLumberyard.com). Prior to becoming an author, Suzanne was an architect specializing in residential and commercial design. When not writing, Suzanne enjoys doing anything and everything with her family—skiing, golf, tennis, surfing, playing board games, and watching reality TV. She is an avid baseball fan. Her team is the Angels. She can also be found in the bleachers watching her kids’’ sports or prowling the streets with her husband checking out the culinary scene of Orange County. Website Twitter