Staying Wet: A Southern Tale Told One Sip at a Time by Jacqueline Schnitzer

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Contemporary, Literary_Fiction

There is a toxic landfill in every person's mind where the unpleasant seeds of life are dumped…relentless weeds that mix with the flowers. Caddy McCoy’s garden of life has become quite overgrown. Terrified of facing her demons, she finds herself awakening to the sound of Bay water lapping up against the pier outside her cottage, hung over and once again confronted with poignant memories.

With her life-long companion at her side she rehashes the story of her life, blazing a path as jubilant as it is devastating: from a vivacious girl of five, trying to make sense of her father and brother’s sudden disappearance; to growing up in an adoptive family alongside a mother who seems to have permanently checked out; through college life, racial integration, loves lost, accidents and deaths, charming husbands of shadowy backgrounds, but also children who still give her reason to hope. Finally back at her Bay home, the question remains: who exactly is Caddy’s bedroom companion?

5 out of 5 (exceptional)

Staying Wet is written from the perspective of her bedroom companion, her best friend who has always been there for her, but you never get a name. It continues through the book as Caddy talks out her memories of her life to her friend.

This is not a cheery, everything is fine, book. Caddy has dealt with some serious issues in her life, including the disappearance of her father and brother at a very young age, drinking to excess, and drugs. What this book is though is completely enthralling, a definite page turner.

Instead of the timing remaining constant throughout, sometimes Caddy will follow that particular thread through to the conclusion. For example, she might be nineteen when the story starts, but in her forties when it concludes. You stay with the story until its conclusion, and then you go back to Caddy at nineteen where she recommences with the rest of her story. It can be off-putting to start with, but stick with it, and I promise you'll be glad that you did.

The ending is perfect for the book. I can't say I liked it, but I understood it and thought it exceedingly well-written. I loved the companion as it all made sense. This book was a complete surprise to me, not what I expected at all, but I loved it! Highly recommended by me.

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *


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Jacqueline Schnitzer is an author whose life spans cultures and continents. She was raised in America’s South, writing her first “books” at age 10 on her father’s yellow legal pads. Her family’s constant relocations – including a stint in the land of the real Forrest Gump – led to prolific tales of colorful settings and quirky characters. She honed her talents at the University of Alabama, where she received a BA in Literature. After receiving an Associate Degree in Interior Design and Architecture from Parsons School of Design, New York and marrying her German husband, she relocated to Frankfurt, Germany. There, she was catapulted into yet another strange world of contrasts and began musings on her professional writing endeavors while also operating an international interior design company (Jacqueline Schnitzer Interior Design), the latter which she ran for 15 years until the birth of her fourth child. Mrs. Schnitzer currently splits her time between Frankfurt, Germany and St. Tropez, France.

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