I’m Not Her
By Cara Sue Achterberg
In her debut fiction novel, Cara Sue Achterberg weaves a wonderful themed tale. A new twist on the “Freaky Friday” storyline with so much emotion it gives an honorable nod to the famous Disney tale and Mark Twain’s The Prince and The Pauper.
In this novel the story starts with college graduate, Carin Fletcher. She’s young, beautiful, svelte and privileged. She is shopping at a Shop and Save grocery market eyeing the cashier with disdain. The overweight, uneducated cashier, Leann Cane, hits the cash register with her wide rump and causes a large Valentine decoration to fall. As the accident progresses, Carin is in the direct line of the falling display and gets knocked on the head. As a result of a cosmic twist of destiny the souls of the bodies change with each other.
Carin learns to live the life of a severely overweight woman and how society ill-treats her. While Carin is in Leann’s body, she has to overcome sugar addiction, and junk food addiction not to mention a host of other physical issues. Carin truly learns how it feels to be Leann, although she is much stronger in how she relates to those around her. Leann, when Leann was in her own body, allowed her husband to abuse her, and she tolerated verbal and sexual abuse by a coworker. Leann looked for validation in the wrong places. While Carin is in Leann’s body, she changes these relationships and stands up for herself and Leann in the process. Carin being the princess had to live the life of a pauper as Leann was poor. Leann would steal food from the supermarket where she worked and would be the cheapest, least nutritional food just to have food. Her six-year old son, Trevor, is the angel of this story, as he knows something is not right with his mom. While he loves the attention he gets from the woman in his mother’s body, he still misses the real Leann.
Leann, trapped in Carin’s body, finds out the posh apartment and the fantasy she dreamed of from watching her favorite soap opera was not what it was really cracked up to be. She was afraid to leave the apartment and the only true change she made was that she figured out she was worth something to her son. She missed him and found a way to see him, but it was not enough. Her redeeming quality change is to find a way to fight for him, for herself and for Carin.
All in all, this story was an awesome read! The theme of living the life of another no matter the situation and not judging without truly knowing is a lesson we should all take to heart. It was fun and entertaining and as a reader you want to turn the page to see how or if they will swap back. I wanted there to be a longer denouement, to not have it wrapped up as quick as it was. That is a testament to how great the characters are that the reader wants to know more beyond the page that says The End. Perhaps a sequel will reunite the world with these characters?
Please visit Cara Sue at her website to see where you can find her books, articles and other writing at http://www.carawrites.com/
And see her publisher’s page at http://thestoryplant.com/our-authors/cara-sue-achterberg/
FTC Disclaimer: I was given an ARC of this title through The Story Plant publishing and Net Galley for review purposes only. No other compensation was awarded.