REVIEW: Speechless by Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout
I loved your second book, “What I Really Want to Do is Direct” and knew I had to go back and read your first, “Speechless.” It’s worth every trade paperback penny. I hope you two have something else in the works because if not, I’m afraid I’ll go into withdrawal.
Anyone who’s ever suffered under a supervisor from hell and or worked for the government needs to read about Libby McIssac. Bored with her regular job in the Education Ministry, she decides to take a chance and apply for the position of speechwriter to the Minister of Arts, little knowing what she’s getting herself into. The Minister’s ratlike assistant Margo makes Libby’s (or Lily, as the Minister insists on calling her) life into one long misery. But since Libby isn’t one to tuck her tail and crawl off, it’s hilarious watching her outfox Margo and finally begin to do the job she was hired for. If only she could get her personal life on track as well.
Sandy, while I know that your experience in government came in handy in this book and Yvonne’s film industry career helped in “What I Want to Do,” one of you must be tall since you appear to know what you’re talking about as far as the life of a woman over 6 feet in height. As a petite and dainty little thing, I can only imagine the headache in finding shoes to fit and coming up with the appropriate responses to people who mistake you for a man. Libby is lucky with her friends, each of whom is distinct from the others. And while everyone’s experiences in life and love are truly funny, there is enough reality to ground them and keep them from being caricatures. And I love that her gay friend Elliot was willing to take a bullet-I mean bouquet- to break her wedding bouquet catching curse.
I like the fact that Libby knows who the real gem is when comparing the men in her life and that you can make her dithering about going after him acceptable instead of maddening. And you give her a one night stand in a pickup truck! And with a younger man. Whoo-hoo! But what really made me happy is the fact that Libby grows as a person throughout the book. You make the whole book mean something instead of just being a bunch of cute sequences strung together. B+ for this one.