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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
STASHES by PJ Colando is a humorous drama centered around a Midwestern farming family. The plot focuses on two couples: the traditional but spontaneous Jackie and her micro-dairy managing husband Steve, and their unemployed son Brandon and his conniving wife Amy, the Roller Derby queen. This is a delightful comical crossover between a family drama and a drug caper. Think of a mix between Desperate Housewives and Breaking Bad, but with marijuana replacing Crystal Meth. The plot of STASHES really thickens when Jackie and Steve leave their farm home in the less-than-capable hands of Brandon and Amy to travel the USA in a Winnebago. Money-mad Amy sees this as a prime opportunity to grow a barn full of pot and snag a fortune.
Of course, complications ensue, and it is in those complications that PJ Colando’s dry comic realism really hits home. STASHES is not a quick read, but if you take the time to follow Colando’s characters through their rabbit warren of complex and hilarious woes and triumphs, the result is an utterly human representation. It feels so well-crafted that I wonder if these characters really do exist somewhere. The drama and humour in the book are definitely geared towards the two female protagonists, giving an insight into Midwestern farming life as well as discussing how different generations of women perceive the idea of tending to their families whilst also trying to succeed and afford the lifestyle they desire. STASHES is a book that will leave you nodding with a wry, satisfied smile at its end.