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Book review: Searching for Paradise is the breakup story that lasts forever

Remember when you and your Better Half met?

Perhaps you had been dating others but when you saw him, you knew he was "it." Or maybe you'd seen her around town and were totally floored that she would date someone like you.

And the thing is, over the years, with kids and jobs, mortgage and chores and everyday life, sometimes, it's hard -- but necessary -- to remember the moment you knew this perfect person would be your Better Half.

Addy Lipton can't remember that at all. The anger she feels for her husband, Lucky, consumes her so much that she just wants to forget everything and ram her car into his garage.

In the new novel, Searching for Paradise in Parker, PA by Kris Radish, Addy takes another route instead.

Addy Lipton could not recall the last time she actually parked her car in that garage. For years now, old washer parts, bowling balls, junk that Lucky picked up from dumpsters and side streets packed the entire two-car space.

Because of that, the garage was deemed the Kingdom of Krap. Addy hated it.

Lucky was a lout, and clueless.

When did he start preferring the company of his bowling buddies to her?

What happened to the Lucky she fell in love with?

She thought briefly that she might find out when Lucky brought home tickets to a Costa Rica vacation he won at work.

Paradise: the sun, the beach, just the two of them. Certainly, they'd find the connection they lost.

That was the plan, until Lucky hurt his back. When he came home from the hospital, he was dependent on Addy, who was starting to really hate her husband.

Leaning on her Y friends and her beloved sister, Addy realizes that her soul has been dark for years.

It doesn't get any better when Lucky moves out, so Addy files for divorce.

But because he says he still loves her, Lucky enlists the help of his bowling buddies and neighbors to get her back.

Soon everybody in Parker, Pa., knows about the Liptons' lives.

And it's about to change a lot of relationships.

Did you ever witness a he-said-she-said break-up that went on forever? That's kind of what it's like to read Searching for Paradise in Parker, PA.

I loved the first three-quarters of this book. Author Kris Radish writes as if she's tapped straight into your world with a direct line to your thoughts. That had me snagged.

For a while.

Eventually, though, I got mighty tired of Addy's do-I-don't-I, uber-angry waffling and I thought the non-stop Female Bonding was quite overdone.

It was fun at first, but it got repetitive, outrageous, and tedious.

It made me want this novel done a long time before it actually was, and it marred a basically decent story.

Would I recommend this novel? Barely yes, if only to enjoy Radish's quirkily dead-on writing style.

If plot and fast pacing are of the utmost importance, though, "Searching for Paradise in Parker, PA" will be purgatory for you.

Terri Schlichenmeyer is the author of the Detroit Lakes Newspapers book review column, "The Bookworm Sez." Schlichenmeyer has been reading since she was three years old, and never goes anywhere without a book. She lives in West Salem, Wis., with her two dogs and 9,000 books.