Unliving The Dream
by Sandra Vischer
Connect with author Sandra Vischer
Synopsis: Things are darn near perfect for Alex Fisher: she runs a successful business with the love of her life, her husband and the father of her two great kids. She's managed to sail through nearly forty years without so much as a hiccup. That is, until the night her husband announces he would like to make a change-a change that has apparently been going on for months without Alex's knowledge. Yes, he has been having an affair with Alex's assistant. Suddenly Alex is bouncing through divorce, through her daughter's subsequent rebellion, and through the big questions of who she really is and what she wants in life. No longer living the dream, Alex uses her calm logic, internal dialogue, and sizzling wit-not to mention her friends-to turn the shock of a lifetime into an adventure of self-discovery that takes her from the tropical waters of the Caribbean Sea to the Utah wilderness and along the impoverished streets of Peru. In this universal tale, told through Vischer's unique voice, Alex finds that no one escapes unscathed-but we can all have a good laugh and some major personal growth along the way. A humorous, compassionate, and honest look at how the worst time in one's life ultimately leads to unexpected fulfillment and authenticity.
Unliving the Dream sounded great - a happily married, mother of two, and successful business owner is completely blindsided when her husband announces he's been having an affair with an employee and wants a divorce. What? Was he not living the same dream come true life she was?
The synopsis is enticing - the rest is a mess. The characters are thin, simplistic and undeveloped. After reading 380 pages I still don't know Alex, James, Tom, Lily or Jack. I never felt anything for them nor a connection with them. Alex's over-the-top, saintly persona is frustrating, unrealistic and unbelievable. Alex is so calm and accepting of ex-husband James' daily verbally abusive outbursts I wanted to scream "stand up and say something to him!" I mean what was she trying to prove? I believe in taking the High road, keeping the peace and all that - but come on! It takes forever for Alex to decide that working with James every day is not worth it. Then there's the out-of-place sex scenes with Tom. These trysts feel forced and do not fit in with the rest of the story. On the one hand, Alex is in line for sainthood, on the other hand, she's offering to do Tom on her leather office chair.
Some readers may be offended by or object to the way the topic of abortion is presented and filtered into the story line. While I'm okay with hot-button subjects being discussed in modern fiction stories, here it reads like page filler and a way to introduce the author's personal stance on Roe vs Wade. There had been enough rebellious behavior from daughter Lily without adding an abortion.
I wanted to like this book. I'm sorry to say it wasn't the story I thought it would be. Sandra Vischer has talent, there's no denying that. This story just didn't showcase that talent. Even though Unliving the Dream didn't work for me, I look forward to reading her work in the future to see if she develops the voice I saw glimpses of in this book. Just because I couldn't relate to the characters and the story wasn't my cup of tea doesn't mean there isn't an audience for Unliving the Dream. If you enjoy light, chic-lit, beach read type stories with a saintly lead character this one is for you.