In Polyester Pajamas
By: Catherine Dougherty
A contemporary women’s novel, the main character in In Polyester Pajamas is Jean and Jean is, well, cranky. I’m sorry, but there just isn’t any other way to put it. Right after her fiftieth birthday, her husband announces he wants a divorce and her two children have already moved across country to get away from her. She hasn’t spoken to her mother in two years and her own divorce attorney quits. The only person she doesn’t seem to be able to push away, though Lord knows she tries, is Rosie, a new realtor in her office.
Rosie is one of those people who is perpetually happy. Jean takes advantage of her and calls her names and Rosie’s husband is overly demanding, not letting her go out after work, insists that she is always home to make him dinner and then insists she quit the real estate business even though she enjoys it. Yet she loves them both.
Taking a lesson from Rosie, Jean decides she wants to make some changes in her life, but she has a bumpy road ahead of her. Being newly single, Jean thinks about sleeping with one of her clients, who turns out to be a lunatic. Then there is the police officer/old high school friend. There is Jacob, who she meets while finally visiting her mother and even her soon to be ex-husband.
Jean does finally reach out to her mother only to find out her mother doesn’t have long to live, at which point she decides to spend some quality time with her. This is the saddest part of the story as Jean must come to terms with her ailing mother while dealing with the fact that her life has already changed drastically.
Jean does her best to stick with a list of important changes in her life despite the stress of going through a divorce and spending some time with her mother before she passes. She sometimes falters, but Rosie is always there to give her an encouraging word or piece of advice.
This is a very character driven story (and there are lots of characters) based on Jean’s self-discovery after turning fifty. She’s angry with everyone, including herself. She’s overweight and over bearing. Rosie is her only savior as she tries to make significant changes in her life.
Some parts of this story are very funny while others will tug at your heart. This is a women’s fiction story. I think the main message is that there are times in your life when you really have to take a close look at yourself and where you are headed. You might not like what you see.
While I can say I have probably met a few Jean’s in my lifetime, I don’t think I have ever met a Rosie. Regardless, the ending of this story is very sweet, but like always, I won’t give it away.
Catherine Dougherty is a New Hampshire native and when you read her bio, you see where she might have gotten some of her inspirations. You can check out her website at http://catherinedougherty.com/.
Note: For the first time ever, the Kindle version of in Polyester Pajamas, the first book in the Jean and Rosie women’s fiction series, is free on Amazon for 3 days only–Wednesday, June 4th through Friday, June 6th, 2014. Go to Catherine’s website for more details.