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Reviewed by Stephanie Dagg for Readers' Favorite
"Walking with Elephants" by Karen S Bell is chick lit for older women. Let’s call it hen lit. That immediately makes it more complex since Suze is not only having to cope with career and personal insecurities, but also with her family. Her life is a perpetual juggling act, not helped a great deal by husband Bob who comes across as cold and selfish in this novel. Suze still loves him but you do have to wonder why at times. Bob seems more than happy to head off on a six month sabbatical in Australia leaving his wife and kids behind at what is a difficult time for Suze. There has been restructuring at work and she is now editing art books, and she knows nothing about art. This might well be her downfall. However, this new post brings her into contact with her ex David, an artist, and this is almost certainly going to cause problems.
Bell is a very readable author. She has a light yet confident hand, and creates some fascinating characters. Possibly a couple of them are a little predictable - the unmarried best friend and the gay male confidante at work - and it is also slightly confusing and puzzling to have Suze’s son and ex both being Davids when there are so many other names to choose from out there! But you don’t mind too much since this book is generally such an entertaining read. Yet it makes some valid points about how tricky life can be for working women and how tough growing older is sometimes. Thought provoking escapism from a talented writer.