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Searching for Paradise in Parker, PAby Kris Radish
Synopses & Reviews
From the bestselling author of The Sunday List of Dreams and Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral comes a poignant, funny, and uplifting novel of a woman at midlife whose search for happiness within her marriage — and within herself — turns a whole town upside down.
After twenty-eight years of marriage to her husband Lucky, Addy Lipton feels anything but happily married. In fact, just thinking of their garage, filled to the brim with Lucky's useless junk collection, drives Addy dangerously close to plowing her car through it. But when Lucky wins a trip to paradise — aka Costa Rica — Addy has a faint hope they may be able to turn things around. Or maybe they won’t. Either way, Addy never gets the chance to find out.
On the morning of their departure, Lucky fractures his back tossing their luggage into his truck. Now, with the man she feels she barely knows anymore parked indefinitely on her couch, Addy can’t see their already shaky relationship surviving much longer. It’s time to make some big changes — and some drastic choices.
With the love and support of her devoutly single sister Hell and her workout friends, the Sweat-hers, Addy begins a crusade to revive her dreams — and she takes the women of Parker along for the ride. Soon the men will realize they'll have to step up to the plate to keep their wives and lovers happy. And Addy will have to decide if the paradise she’s creating in Parker is big enough for two....
Filled with small-town characters and big-time soul searching, this sparkling and inspirational tale will hit you where you live — and show you that just as happiness can get buried beneath the jumble of years, it can be rediscovered...if you look hard enough for it within your heart.
"Radish's latest warm-fuzzy (after The Sunday List of Dreams) tracks the troubled marriage of Lucky and Addy Lipton. Lucky's Kingdom of Krap — the garage littered with dismantled appliances, an old car and every other project Lucky never finished — has brought Addy nearly to the breaking point in her stale marriage, but it's the last straw when their planned trip to Costa Rica (with its possibilities for romantic rejuvenation) doesn't happen. What ensues is a summer of separation, discovering personal desires and strong female friendships (it is, after all, a Radish book). As the summer gives way to fall, Lucky tries to win his wife back, while Addy is torn between living alone or giving the marriage another go. Girl-power readers will get a kick out of the hokey girl get-togethers, and women will surely connect with Radish's empowered femmes." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Kris Radish sings the praises of sisterhood by creating an enticing world of women helping women to become the empowered individuals they were meant to be." Booklist
1. What was the effect of reading Luckys thoughts alongside Addys story? How did your impression of both Liptons shift throughout the novel, as their feelings about each other shifted as well?
2. Discuss the title, and the concept of paradise. How did Lucky and Addy go about searching for bliss? What is your definition of paradise? Does it reside in a particular place, or in special people, or in some combination of both?
3. What major differences and surprising similarities do Addy and Hell share? How does their relationship compare to yours with your siblings?
4. What role do the Sweat-Hers play in Addys life? What makes their brand of friendship ideal? Do Lucky and the Bobs share the same kind of bond, or are female friendships unique?
5. What would it take for all doctors to practice the way Margarite Sanchez does? What types of healing does she provide? Why is she willing to care for her patients so conscientiously, despite the impact this has on her income?
6. What does Mitchells reunion with his birth mother spur in Lucky and Addy? What transition is marked by that event? Why are they able to be more open about their feelings with him than with each other?
7. Do you and your friends convene at a place similar to the First National Wine & Cigar Bar? If so, how did you choose the locale, and what makes it such a perfect venue for letting loose? If not, what would it take to claim a similar space for you and your best friends?
8. In Chapter Twenty-Six, Addy opens a fanny pack containing mementoes from years gone by, including notes from Mitchell and love poetry from Lucky, but “Addy cannot hold on to the green notebook or any thoughts of joy, or even the slightest memory of something fine, sweet, and wonderful from her married past.” When does memory help us through a painful time? When does memory interfere with moving forward?
9. How do the stories of Malibu Heidi, Debra, Lee, and Lingerie Sharon complement each other? How do their experiences with love shape the way Addy views her marriage?
10. What does Mitchell learn from his parents about empathy and kindness? Which of his parents traits does he incorporate into his own personality, and which ones will he leave behind as a member of a new generation?
11. What makes Addy a great candidate for comedy classes? What enables her to make the leap from furious garage-door basher to professor of giggling?
12. What was your first theory about the notes described in Chapter Fifty? What is their effect on the Sweat-Hers?
13. Discuss the arrival of pirates at Parkers annual Fall Festival. What was their ultimate “loot”? When is the last time you wore a daring costume or posed as a swashbuckler?
14. What is the best way for a couple to determine whether their relationship can be salvaged? If you had been in Luckys or Addys shoes, what would you have decided about divorcing?
15. Did Searching for Paradise in Parker, PA cause you to see men in a different light? How has the book changed your view of love and life? How close are you to realizing the kind of dreams that are captured in the books epilogue?
16. What themes of liberation and friendship appear in this and each of Kris Radishs previous novels? In what way does her storytelling empower readers?
About the Author
Kris Radish is the bestselling author of four novels, The Elegant Gathering of White Snows, Dancing Naked at the Edge of Dawn, Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral, and The Sunday List of Dreams. She lives in Wisconsin, where she writes two nationally syndicated columns each week and is at work on her sixth novel, The Poetry of Emma's Salvation.
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