Sonia Reppe's Reviews > The Fallback Plan

The Fallback Plan by Leigh Stein
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's review
Apr 14, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: midwest, fiction-contemporary
Read from January 10 to 11, 2012 — I own a copy

Ester is a recent college grad (theatre) who is slacking her way through the summer back at her parent's house. She
hangs out with other slackers and then gets a nanny job. She's on anti-depressents and it's revealed that she had a break-
down or a serious burn-out during her senior year of college. The circumstances of this are interesting, but they aren't
examined or given a satisfying storyline, it's just told in a flash-back scene.


Ester is depressed but smart, and the commentary on her life is amusing. She isn't tooirreverent, but she is a little flip about serious subjects like Judaism, that might be a turn-off for
some readers.
She is the anti-heroine: she's trying to find direction and inspiration for her life. She fools around a bit with the dad of the four-year-old she watches but I was disappointed that this went nowhere. This novel does get a point for the very realistic sex scene between Ester and her crush, Jack (who just uses her).

The tone at the end didn't quite fit the rest of the book. Ester on a tire swing, spinning away her childhood insecurities. She didn't grow enough for me, the story could've been so much more. I read through this novel in the same way Ester was drifting through life: looking for inspiration and distraction, often while reclining on my couch, asking myself "what's the point?" When I can relate, I like. I used to nanny in the summers during college, and I stretched my
college years as a performance arts major as much as I could (7 yrs.).

Verdict: recommended.


Quote: "I rode north. I tried to change gears. There was a time in my life when I knew which gear was for, but now they all seemed arbitrary; it was difficult to pedal no matter which one I selected. Was I doing something wrong? Probably."
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