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Time Off For Good Behavior    by Lani Diane Rich order for
Time Off For Good Behavior
by Lani Diane Rich
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2004 (2004)

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* *   Reviewed by Sally Selvadurai

Wanda Lane has reached rock bottom and there is nowhere left to go but to curl up on the floor with a bottle of scotch. She has divorced her abusive ex-husband, but he keeps reappearing in her life through telephone calls that are alternately beseeching and threatening. To add to her misery she has survived two freak accidents that almost killed her, and has lost her job. She is alone, estranged from her family and with few friends to speak of. Things have got to change ...

And change they do. Wanda realizes, through a drunken haze, that this is not what her life should have been, and she sets out to change it, trying to find herself and feel that she is worthy of being loved just for who she is, for her thoughts, for her deeds. Wanda is constantly reminded of her father's words as she reinvents herself: 'Wanda, sometimes a battle is worth fighting. And sometimes you just have to know when to shut the hell up.' Gradually, Wanda re-emerges from the depths, realizes that people like her for who she is, and starts taking control of her life.

Lani Diane Rich's first book is a success it is an easy read (a one-nighter) with characters who have warmth and heart. The storyline is certainly not new, but it is presented well with humour and wit and the reader empathizes with Wanda and her new family as she begins to realize her full potential.

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