The Upside of Over (not exactly a book review)

Thursday, June 7, 2018 Permalink

I was planning to sit down and write one of my usual (exceedingly eloquent and learned) book reviews, this time of The Upside of Over by JD Barrett, but realised much of what I wanted to say is really not about the book, but about the notion itself.

Given I already inject far too much of myself into my reviews I figured I’d touch v.briefly on this book – which I enjoyed – a well-written and easy read – perfect for a sunny day at the beach or when cocooned under blankets in a cold house with rain falling outside…. but really talk more a little about the concept:

That sometimes what feels like the very worst thing that could happen to us, is – in fact – the best.

The Upside of Over (not exactly a book review)The Upside of Over
by J.D. Barrett
Published by Hachette Australia
on May 29th 2018
Source: Hachette Australia
Genres: Romance, Women's Fiction
ISBN: 9780733637971, B0794Z7SPQ
Pages: 304

What happens when one of the country's most popular identities goes from reading the news to being the news?

Olivia Law had always been the good girl. Great grades, perfect career, husband, house and hairdo. She'd learnt image was everything so she refused to look below the surface of her life. When not at work her minutes were filled with causes, chairing boards and dining at fabulous restaurants with her equally fabulous husband, David. She kept up the Botox, blow-dries and worked hard. It wasn't enough, but whenever doubt crept in she'd head to a pilates class or plan a renovation on her trophy house.

Then she turned 45. Olivia wasn't prepared for David to leave. The fact that they hadn't had sex for two years should have triggered warning bells ... it didn't.

In an attempt to fix her broken marriage Olivia exposed herself like never before. But when her confession goes viral, the husband, house and job disappear. The woman who once offered glamorous reassurance and a steady gaze is labelled a princess of perversion. Humiliated, defeated, facing fifty shades of failure, she's left wondering who the hell she really is? Stripped bare, she abandons perfection ... and something remarkable happens.

Olivia Law just might get her sass back (and this time, it's the real thing).

I’ve written before about being made redundant – now almost 6yrs ago.

The news that the entire branch of my government department was being terminated was a shock. HELLO, SINGLE WITH MORTGAGE?! But… after some contemplation I actually looked forward to the changes it would bring me. Indeed, though things haven’t exactly gone to plan since August / September 2012, the decimation of my old government agency was one of the best things that has happened to me.

I’ve realised over the last year or so that I’ve reconciled myself to my lack of family. I can finally deal with mothers and children, pregnant women and those who assume motherhood is on the cards, without thinking they’re all purposely taunting me.

And, even now, as my contract nears its end I’m trying hard not to panic about looming unemployment. Again.

Of course there’s that smidge of me who sees it as an opportunity. Sure, I failed to make money (in a way that would allow me to actually eat and pay bills) from my writing in the past. But maybe – if it comes to that and I have no other source of income – I’ll be forced to step outside of my comfort zone and actually try……

Either way it’s a reminder that there often is an ‘upside of over’.

The Upside of Over by JD Barrett (who hovers between Sydney, Byron Bay and LA) was published in Australia by Hachette and is now available. For more, check out my review of one of her earlier books, The Song of Us.

Can you relate? Have you had any horrid experiences that have (ultimately) had an upside? 

The Lovin’ Life team includes:

50 Shades of Age | Seize the Day Project | And Anyways | Write of the Middle | Deep Fried Fruit.

  • sizzlesue15
    June 7, 2018

    Hi Deb, this sounds like a perfect read for today as it is raining in Brisbane. I’m currently reading The Wife Between Us which you might enjoy. I took early retirement to be with my husband but I was probably pushed into it earlier than I planned because a woman I worked with was such a bully to me that in the end I just couldn’t cope with it all. She had been there forever so Management were reluctant to ‘upset’ her . I left and although after a few months I felt completely lost with no purpose, these feelings led me to start my blog. Sure I don’t make money from it but there was such a positive outcome for me mentally and I know that leaving my job and the toxic environment was the best decision for me.

  • Jo
    June 7, 2018

    You know my thoughts on this – the changes push us in directions we’d never otherwise take. The crapstorm that lead us to be up gere was just one of those examples. Worst thing possible, with the best outcome.

    • Debbish
      June 7, 2018

      I suspect I’m trying to remind myself of that for whatever comes next – as this contract looms to a finish!

  • BoomingOn
    June 7, 2018

    I think the phrase “There’s always a Plan B” is important. Hope something else exciting (and even profitable!) comes along.

    • Debbish
      June 7, 2018

      Thanks. I need to find a balance between planning for the potential of unemployment (ie. paying bills) and existing in the moment and not worrying about it in advance (though not spending too frivolously). There’s a remote chance I could be extended but I’m preparing for every eventuality as I’ve learned not to expect too much!

  • writeofthemiddle
    June 7, 2018

    My life changed drastically in mid 2012 too, and whilst things haven’t gone along a prosperous path financially for me, they have allowed me some personal and spiritual growth … area’s previously neglected … so for me there is an upside of over I guess. I’m just not gonna get rich any day soon! #TeamLovinLife

    • Debbish
      June 7, 2018

      This past year has given me plenty of spending money Min and I’ve got money put aside for my o/s trip in August / September. I actually don’t regret not saving more as I’ve bought stuff I’ve actually really really wanted (new sofa, some clothes) and done some travel. No regrets.

  • Sydney Shop Girl
    June 7, 2018

    This sounds like just the read for me. My life changed for what I thought was for the worst in 2013 but since then I’ve been shown every day in so many ways that so much good can come from something that you never thought you’d bounce back from.

    SSG xxx

    • Debbish
      June 7, 2018

      Yes, the redundancy and being confronted with ‘life as I knew it’ was a really good thing for me. I was looking down the barrel of another 20+yrs of THAT life (work and little else) and it wasn’t until I recognised how much I hated it that I understood the need to move on.

  • Johanna
    June 9, 2018

    Love how you’ve turned the book review on it’s head to embrace the theme as part of a universal truth. Which it is. There is nothing so constant in life as change, and dealing with it and being resilient is, I think, the equivalent if not better than genius 😉 Hope you’re looking forward to your European sojourn 🙂

    • Debbish
      June 10, 2018

      Yes Jo, I think I’m looking forward to my trip. And I’ll have to make sure I still enjoy it even if I know I’ve not got work to come back to – and not stress about the $ I’m spending as it may be my one and only trip to England / Italy / Europe!

      I got to go on ‘holidays’ for a week in April (on the cruise) and the not-having-to-do-stuff thing was strange!

I'd love to hear your thoughts