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Substitute Me

Substitute Me - Lori L. Tharps I read this in three days. First, this isn't the type of novel I usually pick up. I don't want to read about someone's everyday life and everyday ordinary troubles. I need one or a combination of the following: murder, car chases, space chases, aliens, dragons, wizards, planets blowing up, end of the world infectious diseases, etc. Having said that, I found myself intrigued with a world completely foreign to ME.

Kate is ambitious, but she has a child and someone needs to take care of him. She enjoyed six months at home with him, but finds herself bored and ready to return to work. Zora answers her ad to "Substitute Me" and become the baby's nanny.

From the very beginning I had trouble liking Kate. She professes to love her child, but she never sees him. Kate works from 8am to 9 or 10pm every night and even works on some weekends. She is NEVER home. She convinces herself it is all for the "good" of her family. It comes down to priorities and balance. Kate's priority is getting a promotion. There is no balance.

On the other hand I liked Zora almost from the beginning. I could relate to her better as a stay at home mom who loves to cook. She has trouble admitting to herself that she enjoys being a nanny. She's good at it, really good, but she never tells her own parents that she has taken this job. Zora fears their disappointed in her as an educated black women who has chosen to revert to slavery by working for a white woman. However, Zora works and searches for what she really wants to do with her life.

I enjoyed the book, and I was satisfied with the ending. In an effort not to spoil the ending, I'm not going to tell you why I liked the ending. Just know that for me, that's how I wanted it to end. For me, the best part of the book was the last 140 pages or so. I LOVED the drama in those pages!