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Exotic refreshing cocktails next to book and straw hat by the pool on vacation._edited.jpg
  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Some Maintenance Required

Narrator: Hillary Huber

ISBN: 9781666609370

Publisher: Dreamscape Media

Publication Date: 07/05/2022

5 hrs. 25 min.

Format: Audiobook

My Rating: 5 Stars (ARC)

It is 1993, the last year of school, and Laurie’s final spring before adulthood. She works part-time at a restaurant and looks after Cindy, her neglected potty-mouthed little neighbor. Like her mother, Laurie devours books and dreams big. Her father works at a garage, where she constantly struggles to keep her car running.

It is here that a budding romance intensifies her understanding of class differences and opens her eyes to a more complicated world. With her big heart, she takes Cindy globe-trotting without even leaving town and learns how to come to terms with circumstances beyond her control.

My Review

A Tragicomic Delight!

SOME MAINTENANCE REQUIRED by bestselling storyteller Marie-Renée Lavoie, author of Autopsy of a Boring Wife is a highly recommended quirky, emotional, thought-provoking, big-hearted, laugh-out-loud funny, and ultimately uplifting novel about love, loss, self-discovery, survival, and hope.

Exploring both the dark corners and hidden joys of life's journey –and the remarkable resilience of the human soul. In this tremendously moving novel, the author demonstrates how people trapped by life's circumstances can break free and find a place in the world where love is genuine and selfless.

Set in 1993, Laurie is eighteen and about to embark on her life into adulthood and enter college. A good student, and hard worker, she discovers she has a lot to learn and finds maturity comes with often tricky challenges.

Laurie has two wonderful parents who are both working class. Her mom, Suzanne (I adore her), is a voracious book reader and booklover. She travels like a globetrotter through books. (love all the book references), works in a hospital parking lot booth, 17 sq ft. She has a great attitude, intelligent, and everyone loves her. She surrounds herself with things she loves.

Her love and passion for reading have been passed down to her daughter, Laurie. Laurie now has decisions about college, apartments, jobs, car, finances, friendships, love, relationships, and what she wants to do with her life.

Her dad works at a garage, and Laurie now has a car she calls the Pony he attained for her. She works at a part-time bakery while in school and then gets a job at a restaurant, where she excels. She is often puzzled by life when things do not go as planned.

She often wonders how her mom can be happy with her life and be fulfilled working in a claustrophobic parking booth and never complains. And her dad at his dead-end job. They are lovely providers, and their life seems happy, and they want her to get a college education and a good job. With her friends, sometimes she is embarrassed by them and feels guilty about their vocations. Also, the people she meets in these types of jobs along her journey- how can they be happy? Do they not want more?

Her mom is the most beautiful person she knows. She wants more for herself. However, her mom has a positive attitude, caring, kind, and intelligent. When she gets sick, she is devasted, and life is so unfair.

Then we meet Laurie's latest project: her neighbor, a second-grader, foul mouth little girl named Cindy, curses like a sailor, has little food and clothes, and horrible parents, and finds her way into their hearts and home after Suzanne invites her in. Their home is now a safe haven for the little girl. (Lots of laugh-out-loud funny and whiny scenes). Cindy is like Laurie's bratty little sister.

Cindy's family is poor but they are not abusive but neglectful. She barely has anything to eat or wear. Instead of calling children's services for the neglect, and risking getting lost in the foster system, they decide to keep her close. Befriend her, take her under their wing to try and be a strong influence in her life in any way they can. Will they be able to save her from this environment?

Cindy is rough around the edges, pouty, with no role models. Laurie befriends her and sets the stage for travel through books, and teaches her things about life, school, manners, etc. Then the family moves without her knowing- she must find her. But whatever difficult times lie ahead, Laurie learns that although she can't fix everything for Cindy or herself, at least she's no longer alone.

Laurie faces many new challenges and emotions: death, grief, class, privilege, social injustices, work, dating, romance, career, and complex relationships. Her car and people in her life break; some maintenance is required. A PERFECT TITLE!

I LOVED the audiobook! Short, but big on life lessons and wisdom. Highly entertaining, narrated by the fabulous Hilary Huber. A perfect range of voices for all the full cast of diverse characters, their vulnerabilities, fears, and distinct personalities

My first book by the author. Love her insightful writing style! Bittersweet, sad at times, but sparkling and witty, heartfelt and clever—a story about finding your place in the world, no matter your age and how impossible it seems. I cannot wait to read the author's backlist.

For fans of authors: Elizabeth Berg, Catherine Ryan Hyde, Fredrick Backman, Anne Tyler, and Joyce Maynard (some of my favorites).

Readers will find friendship, community, and kindness on full display. The characters will tug at your heartstrings and it is hard not to root for Suzanne, Laurie, and Cindy! You will find yourself missing Laurie as the book ends and desire a follow-up to see where she landed and, of course, Cindy.

A perceptive journey, maneuvering this course we call life— from the eyes of an eighteen-year-old girl. An eye-opening, dazzling coming-of-age, mother/daughter, family drama novel meets humor and literary fiction. Think, This is Us.

In tragic and comic detail, the author cleverly renders the notion that every life—however blessed—has its share of loss, but those crushed hearts can be revived with the help of others. Sprinkled with literary influences, well-developed relatable characters, and beautiful writing—a 5 Star must-read for all booklovers! Makes you think about the little joys in life. One you will want to read more than once.

A stirring, insightful novel of tremendous warmth and humor that illuminates the kindnesses and cruelties of our daily lives.

A special thank you to #DreamscapeMedia and #NetGalley for an audiobook ARC to listen to, enjoy and review.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 5 Stars ✨✨✨✨✨

Pub Date: July 5, 2022

July 2022 Must-Read Books List

About the Author

MARIE-RENÉE LAVOIE was born in 1974 in Limoilou, near Quebec City. She is the author of four novels, including Mister Roger and Me, which won ICI Radio-Canada’s “Battle of the Books” ― the Quebec equivalent of “Canada Reads” ― and the Archambault Prize; Autopsy of a Boring Wife, which was a finalist for the Forest of Reading Evergreen Award, a Hoopla Book Club selection, and a CBC Best Books of the Year, and is currently being developed for television; and A Boring Wife Settles the Score. She lives in Limoilou.

About the Translator

ARIELLE AARONSON left her native New Jersey in 2007 to pursue a diploma in Translation Studies at Concordia University in Montreal. She holds an M.A. in Second Language Education from McGill University and has spent the past few years teaching English in the Montreal public school system and creating educational material for second language learners. She previously translated Marie-Renée Lavoie’s Autopsy of a Boring Wife and A Boring Wife Settles the Score for Arachnide.







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