Carrie Stewart's Reviews > Going in Circles

Going in Circles by Pamela Ribon
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Mar 22, 12

bookshelves: general-fiction

The problem with leaving it a few days after finishing a book before writing a review is that I tend to forget what I wanted to say, especially when I’ve already read books in between. And that’s a bit of a shame as I really enjoyed this one. Anyway, Going in Circles is by Pamela Ribon, who also writes for TV but I’ve never seen any of her stuff. I’m sure it’s very good, if her writing here is anything to go on. The book follows Charlotte Goodman as her marriage unravels and she tries to piece her life back together. A newlywed and seemingly very happy, her husband walks out on her unexpectedly, and then comes back a couple of weeks later, turning her world upside down again. Unable to stand the way they are together now, Charlotte moves out and tries to figure out just what exactly it is she wants from Matthew. Are they going to get back together or will it end in divorce?

Completely broken and unable to get through the day without ‘The Plan’, everything mapped out in advance, Charlotte also uses a narrator with the voice of John Goodman to take us through events she can’t bear to be in control of. Then she meets Francesca at work, who takes it upon herself to get Charlotte through this bad time, starting with going out and getting off the internet (and away from stalking Matthew on Facebook). Initially it’s supposed to be baby steps, leading up to bigger things, but Francesca soon realises that’s not going to work, and introduces Charlotte to the world of roller derby. Initially skeptical, Charlotte comes to love it and is determined to be good at it. Bruised and battered she may be, but she’s also not thinking so much about Matthew and their marriage. But eventually she’s going to have to make a decision, and confront something she’s been trying to ignore.

This was a really sweet, funny, and at times moving book. I really enjoyed Charlotte’s voice and her story. She’s a mess, but there’s enough humour to keep it from becoming depressing, which it could given the subject matter of broken relationships. I also really liked her friendship with Francesca, which happens easily and is great fun, but she also calls Charlotte out for not being as good a friend to her as she should be. Charlotte does become closed off to others and gets wrapped up in her own suffering, so it’s nice to have her friends pull her up on it and not just pander to her. It’s all part of her getting over it and moving on. And I loved the bits about the roller derby, even if Charlotte does get a bit pummeled at times.
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