Manifesting Daddy by Donna Butler

Review: “Manifesting Daddy” was a book whose description I was provided with and read on Goodreads.com was quite different in tone than those I read on Smashwords and Amazon. They gave me a different impression of what to expect. As the story opened, we are graphically provided personal details which I thought which even some women might cringe at, and then onward into the evidence of environmental stress involving work, a husband and teenaged children which might understandably give a saint a nervous breakdown. This continued the first half of the book, when less could have shown the mentally precarious situation the main character had been placed in.

The pace of the story was fast, almost frenetic at times, which I felt played both for and against the story. It was crucial in truly helping readers comprehend a portion of the mental agony being endured, but at other times, the flow of dialogue between two characters, several pages worth, might have been more balanced with narrative perspectives and interim scenes which steadied the mood.

The story itself is very believable and takes on the very serious subject of depression and aspects of post traumatic stress disorder, although some characters and their admissions felt too predictable or guessable to me.  Wouldn’t everyone wish to find a therapist who seems to understand everything you say and automatically provides the best responses?

What was not revealed or even hinted at in the description, although it dominated the book, was the background reason for Melanie’s lifelong feelings of inadequacy. It truly permeates the story, being an important component to the dysfunctional state of the family, and the wife and mother herself. By the end of,  for better or for worse, I felt like I’d been party to a whirlwind where I didn’t really understand how everyone got from point-A to point-B before there was a swift resolution.

I thought it was a solid piece of work as a whole, for it had many outstanding scenes and ideas but tying them more smoothly together, at a even pace, could really have set this apart from others in the genre. They are memorable as pieces, but didn’t quite complete the puzzle for me by interconnecting. I would agree that “Manifesting Daddy” was somewhat of a mystery, as you have to wait until the end to find out what is the root cause of Melanie’s misery. ”

My notes: I would definitely create one solid description for this book and use it on all sites, as each one seems to give a different take. From the initial one I received, one would guess it a romance of sorts. I didn’t find that to be the case. Someone looking for that would likely be disappointed. The metaphysical tag, for those who regularly work in and believe it, seemed more along the lines of coincidence.  I simply did not find the allusions to reincarnation and rebirth, even though there were references.

Goodreads.com Description: For Melanie Brodie, wife and mother, life blows. Even with the help of a shrink and her crazy best friends, she’s still tempted to end it all. Until an incredibly sexy, younger black guy moves in next door and works his magic on her disastrous life. It would be so easy to fall in love with him, but his eyes hold clues to a metaphysical mystery.

Smashwords Descriptions:

Ebook Short Description

Melanie Brodie always thought reincarnation was a myth- that the closest thing to it happened each spring, when all the trees and plants seemed to come back from the dead. But she soon learns that the same laws that govern the physical universe, govern the spiritual one, too.

Extended Description

In Manifesting Daddy, Donna Butler explores death, rebirth and reinvention with a skillful blend of naughty humor, irreverence and compassion.
Melanie Brodie is suffering from one mean case of depression. She’d love to end it all, but she has kids to consider, even if, in her mind, they and everyone else in her lousy, stinking life would be better off without her. Her shrink- a young, Chinese grad student who looks and talks like a skater boy- and her best friend, Juniper, who looks and talks like she just stepped out of Woodstock- are both eager to help. Sure, Dr. Park might curse or call her “dude” every now and then, but the kid makes a lot of sense. And when Juniper proposes a Manifesting Daddy ceremony, Melanie knows the poor woman means well. But only Juniper would think they could actually connect with the spirit of Melanie’s dead father-reincarnated no less- and draw him back into her life so that he could cure her depression.  Only Juniper would consider that a perfectly reasonable solution.

Melanie, a self-described pushover, goes along with it. As does Marisol, her other childhood friend, a sexy Latina who attends the ceremony just for the chance to bicker with Juniper- something she’s loved to do since they were kids. Weeks later, when someone moves into the vacant house next door, Melanie assumes it’s just coincidence that they own an antique desk that looks vaguely familiar. And later, when she meets that new neighbor and he literally picks her up when she’s down, it’s still too soon to make a connection. As her friendship with Austin grows, her marriage falls apart, and still she refuses to question the intensity of their relationship. Only later, when faced with a glimpse of her own mortality does she realize where she’s seen those eyes before.
If what Melanie suspects is true, all of the sanity and success she’s found, thanks to Austin, could go out the window. Because in coming back into her life, he’s come between not only her and her husband, but between her and Juniper too.

Kindle Edition
Published September 17th 2010
Source: Author

Author Bio:

Donna lives in the Kansas City area suburbs with her fiance and two cats. In addition to writing, she loves animals, gardening, cooking, fireworks, drag queens, cute purses and most things described as “out there” or metaphysical.
Her novel Manifesting Daddy is an exploration of depression and recovery from the author’s quirky, New Age perspective. Her novel in progress, Clutter is the result of her fascination with TV shows about hoarders. Clutter is due for release in February. Visit her website at http://donnabutler.com

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