LitStack Review: Synchronized Breathing by Tara Ellison
The Writer’s Coffee Shop
After discovering nude photos her husband had taken of himself on his computer, Scarlett Spencer realizes her marriage is over. Deciding to divorce is the easy part. Navigating through the lengthy divorce process proves harder, messier, and more expensive than she expected. She and her toddler son Oliver move back home with her mother CeCe, a brother and his girlfriend. Quite a crew in a small apartment. As the lawyer bills collect on the counter, Scarlett struggles to find work as a makeup artist and commercial actress. Not the easiest gig in Hollywood. But she has a few connections. Her best friend Emma is a relatively successful actress and helps her network by dragging her to posh parties with the rich and famous.
And then there’s the nightmare of re-entering the dating scene. Scarlett eventually realizes she has a bad habit of attracting the wrong sort of man. Plus, she has Oliver to consider now. After a few failed flings and on the advice of a respected fortuneteller, Scarlett goes on a “man-diet.” While she puts men and dating on hold, she focuses on getting her life together. She and Oliver write and illustrate a series of children’s picture books which she peddles at farmers’ markets and library readings. They eventually garner notice from a producer who wants to transform her books into a children’s television series. Scarlett’s prospects improve and she is finally content with her life.
Predictably, when she least expects it, Scarlett draws the attention of a man who is unlike any man she has dated in the past. He is perfect.
Synchronized Breathing is Tara Ellison’s first novel. It’s a well-written humorous easy summer read that won’t keep you up all night. There are no clever plot twists, cliff-hangers, or mysteries to solve. But it’s a pleasant enjoyable story about a woman who first has to lose nearly everything in order to find what is most important – self-respect, independence, and the knowledge of what she truly wants out of life.