Reviewed by Darcie Gudger
Searching for Spice by
"Megan DiMaria crafts a novel so compelling, so real, you forget you're reading fiction."
“He’s standing in the middle of the kitchen, the questionable carton of half-and-half in one hand and a mug of steaming coffee in the other. His plaid robe hangs partway open, the belt loosely tied over wrinkled pajamas. A look of perplexity transforms his intelligent features into a caricature of a hapless sad sack.”
Sound like someone you’d want to lure into a steamy affair?
Linda Revere, assistant to an upscale photographer in Metro Denver, does. In fact, she initiates extreme efforts to seduce this clueless man, her husband. But wouldn’t you know it; when Linda launches her LAME (Linda’s Adventurous Marriage Experiment) plan, rumors of an illicit affair burn through Dream Photography involving her boss and a co-worker and worse yet, Linda is subjected to the whims Carol the Wrecking Ball – a wealthy client her employer wants to keep happy. If that isn’t enough…
As her life spins out of control, Linda lowers her romantic expectations. She and Jerry are about to reach the twenty-five year benchmark in their marriage.
Jerry surprises Linda with an anniversary trip to Aspen. Unfortunately, Linda’s resigned her LAME plan to being lame. In fact, lying next to him night after night evolved to an exercise in tolerance.
Will Linda’s heart open to the wooing by her Savior as trials escalate? Can her marriage survive a cataclysmic discovery further down the road? Megan DiMaria crafts a novel so compelling, so real, you forget you’re reading fiction. Readers of all ages and stages of life will relate to the diverse cast of characters.
In past reviews, I’ve touted Barbra Kingsolver’s Poisonwood Bible as the paradigm for three-dimensional characterization on a two-dimensional page. DiMaria soars to paradigm quality.
Life is hard. Just when we think we’re through the fire, another log, a squirt of kerosene, or even a bomb is thrown in before the embers cool. Searching for Spice doesn’t shy away from this reality. However, the book is anything but a downer. DiMaria uses humor to buoy readers through the tough stuff Linda, Jerry, Emma and Nicky must face as a family.
Another strong thematic thread is the friendships Linda has with both Christians and non-Christians. These friendships are a lifeline.
Too many contemporary novels give men a bad reputation. Searching for Spice breaks that mold, restoring lost integrity to the male sex. Marriage is valued as something worth fighting for, not a disposable activity.
Megan DiMaria transcends the boundaries of genre, using fiction as a powerful tool to teach all of us how much Jesus loves us and comforts us in our deepest pain. Spice is a MUST READ for both men and women.
Darcie Gudger is a freelance writer currently working on a young adult novel while trying to solve all the mysteries of motherhood with her adopted son, Kyle. In her spare time, she coaches the 2A Colorado State Champion Sheridan High School colorguard, judged equipment for the Rocky Mountain Colorguard Association and sings for the Bear Valley church choir and worship team. An adventure-seeker who lives and writes in the shadow of the Rocky mountains, Darcie loves hiking, camping, cycling, photography and keeping her husband guessing. Visit Darcie online at her blog, Joy in the Litterbox.