Baggage Claim by Tanya Michna
Beth Overton comes up with a brilliant idea after learning that her only daughter Joy is expecting her first baby – she flies from Atlanta to Houston to surprise her husband with the news. Beth is not at all confident in herself or her marriage, so she is hoping to rekindle the romance along the way. What she discovers in Houston is not at all what she had been expecting. After the shock that her husband has a secret and severe gambling problem, she finds that she’d actually gotten to the hotel with someone else’s luggage. The mix-up in the baggage claim and her encounter with stoic and self-assured Carly Frazier would leave just as much impact on Beth’s life as her husband’s betrayal.
I was intrigued with this novel when I first heard about it. I found the concept of having an accidental baggage switch alter the lives of both women very interesting. Over the course of the upcoming months, they get to know each other. As different as they both think they are from each other, it proves to be superficial. Beth’s go-to notion that maintaining a home and family is what provides meaning and salvation to her life is something that grew within her from her father and his teachings. Carly’s compulsive desire to constantly do more and be more is directly related to her overbearing and emotionally abusive father. They both tended to go to the extremes and all it did was make them second guess themselves. As they continued to observe each other, they learned how to see the other sides of themselves. As a result, they were better able to live and love in piece.
Baggage Claim was a well written and satisfying novel. It explores the way in which the major male influences in a woman’s life – her father and husband – can impact her choices and self-confidence. Ultimately, it’s when women learn to appreciate our innate talents and take control of our lives that we can be happy with ourselves and in our relationships. This novel would make a great read on vacation. Then again, you might want to read this first. It just might prompt you to be more careful when packing your luggage. You never know who might be picking it up at the airport.
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