Palaces and Calluses by Rebecca Woodhead

Book Review:  Ebook, Palaces and Calluses by Rebecca Woodhead.

Mary at first seems to be a another shallow twenty something pleasure seeker. Unformed and a product of someone else's creation or desires. Married at 16, to an older man, a millionaire, seems like a fairy tale dream come true. Mary is very in love with her prince charming and is finessed by him for the 10 years of their married life. Mary was so young, and naive when they married that she had no life experience to see that she was manipulated by her husband and just a mere bauble on his arm. When she was physically matured into a woman of twenty six he trades her in for a younger version. Devastated Mary's parents take her home to family homestead where she can recuperate emotionally.

For the first weeks Mary is an emotional wreck but her very strong willed mother directs her to find a job. This is a huge problem for Mary as she has never done a lick of work and has no marketable skills. Her mother gets her involved in selling Pert 'n' Perki Paws a line of foot care products, and pays the initial astronomical fees for the starter kit. Mary does not want to sell this product it's similar to selling Avon products in the United States. Except with a diabolical twist. You have to sell not only the product but recruit new people to become reps. Pert 'n' Perki Paws has a minimum order amount that you can order and if your order is less than that, they won't take the order. After getting a recruit Mary has to make sure they fill a qualifying order and also get new recruits.

Mary would not have signed the contract had her dog Rock not bitten the recruiter. Edna, the evil recruiter threatens to turn Rock into the authorities for that bite, but if she will just sign and sell Pert 'n' Perki Paws she won't. Loving her dog Rocky so much, she submits and hell begins. The evil recruiter Edna is a much like The Wizard of Oz with the wicked witch trying to take away Dorothy's dog. The wicked witch would have been easier to deal with than Edna.

Mary does meet some interesting people when searching for new recruits,  that become an integral part of her life. Like Clive and Ron. Clive arranges for  Mary to come and do a Pert 'n' Perki Paws showing at a gay bash they're throwing. Mary meets the Organic Fox at this bash and they hit it off in a big way. Mary is sensible and doesn't let her attraction magnet zero right in on the Fox and she's concerned about his moniker 'The Fox'. So she puts him on a back burner. Clive gets her a plum job that's opened at the swank restaurant he works at. Mary is thrilled with this opportunity to get to wear her nice clothes and dress up more. So she starts as hostess in the day time when it's less busy. She likes the job and most the people she works. Being a hostess in a posh place is not as easy as it sounds.

She thinks she has fulfilled her obligation to Pert 'n' Perki Paws, wait, not so quick, Edna the evil recruiter is suddenly demanding that she find two new recruits and fill an order herself or she is going to still turn Rock over to the authorities and let them put him to death for that bite. She's working full time and really doesn't have much time to go door to door finding new recruits but finally bends to Edna's will under the threat of losing Rock.

Mary meets Jackie during one of her sojourns to find new recruits. Jackie is down in the dumps with life's problems and Mary likes her and gets her mother to hire Jackie as a housekeeper. A close friendship develops between them. Eventually Jackie moves out of her gloomy apartment and in with Mary and her parents. They have many good times together and are supportive to each other. I was sorry when the book ended and wanted more. So glad to hear that Rebecca Woodhead is writing a sequel.


cookingvarieties said...

hi jennie, this is a very interesting story indeed. For the fact that mary’ mom had to pay for her starters kit in the business, Mary really benefit nothing and wasted so much of her sweet life with the shrewd old man. Grotesque.
Frankly speaking, I came by to visit you, but I just do not know how to put appropriate comments to respond to your posts. Now, at this visit, its ok… I guess I can, if I read stories like this one..its no problem to put comment.. wonder why last time I got stuck :)

Have a nice day. Many thanks for your email. I really appreciate your visit to my blog.. I feel so sad and in tears now, cos I am not lazy in putting comments and visiting, but I just got stuck on comments- cos your niche is such- jennie.

I miss you so much,. Take care. See you at bloggers.com too., I am doing quite well there n my ranking under food blogger, under personal, under best blogger and under Malaysia.. :)

I want to give you 3 awards, for being there, for a great blog and for being a great friend….i hope you will accept them..will notify you soon..

cooking varieties (wan) said...

Hi jennie, how are you. I am sending you an email today on the 2 awards, the other one will be about end next week, I will publish first and will notify you.

Do visit my blog, would like to hear from you a comment in my comment box, on my artsy picnic burger. This is my food.artwork (not guest poist) take care dear :)