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Book Review: “From Zero to Four Kids in Thirty Seconds” by Amy L. Peterson

Amy is a 30-year-old woman who spent many years polishing an unapproachable outer shell and maintaining a long list of reasons why not to have children. She keeps a canoe on her front porch, a mountain bike in her kitchen and a balance in her checking account. Mark is an older, divorced man with four kids. He sleeps on an Army cot and eats out of pots and pans given to him by his therapist. He has a Ph.D. in stream ecology, a VW Rabbit with 285,000 miles on it and enough fishing tackle to sink a small boat.  Amy falls for Mark hook, line and hundreds of dollars in sinkers. (from Goodreads) 

I would like to thank Amy Peterson for giving me the opportunity to read and review her book.  Amy sent me her book free of cost, in exchange for an honest review.  “From Zero to Four Kids in Thirty Seconds” is Amy Peterson’s true story of adapting to life as wife and step-mother.

The book’s chapters chat about different events and stages in Amy’s life, as she moves from being a very independent single, to a still independent married.  The trick was to maintain her link to independent thinking, while being part of a six person think tank – with the two oldest members, Amy and her husband Mark, ruling the roost!  Even if the kids thought they ruled the roost! 

Within each chapter, Amy gives the readers tips on getting through each new adventure as it arises.  Sometimes it is tips on how not to do things!  Amy’s chapter topics range from falling in love, family vacations, and meeting her step-children, all the way through to handling married life – not necessarily in that order.  Amy’s tips range from knowing that all the family does not like her new love, to how to be grateful for holidays that only happen yearly, and how ‘old’ families and ‘new’ families need not vacation together…… 

Amy’s humour is good, clean fun.  While we all cannot identify with Amy’s roles, I think the general reader can find something to laugh with.  For today’s world of many styles of blended family living, I believe most of us have been in one, or a number, of Amy’s family situations.  For anyone, of any marital status, who has had to immerse themselves in a new family’s traditions, (and isn’t that most of us?), even if we don’t admit we are laughing, Amy’s stories will strike a familiar chord. 

For the most part, Amy’s stories run somewhat chronologically, and that is the way I read the book; but, this is also the type of literature that enables the reader to pick up the book, open to any page, and begin reading.  Sometimes, even a couple of paragraphs will be all that is needed to bring some laughter into our days. 

When Erma Bombeck started writing in 1967 about her family adventures, not everyone laughed.  But, at the time of her death in 1995, her books were read around the world.  Bombeck’s work was very similar to Amy Peterson’s style, although as a newcomer, Amy’s efforts may be a little rough around the edges.  Maybe one day, Peterson and Bombeck may be considered of the same genre and gift. 

I think most readers will find “From Zero to Four Kids in Thirty Seconds” a breath of fresh air, in a world where even pleasure reading can have a dark twist.  Do yourself a favour, and check it out! 

Well, we have reached the end of this written word post, and I ask “Where is the Joy?” in this reading.  If we want to relax a little, kick our shoes off, and put our feet up, this book may be the remedy we are looking for.  One thing that occurred to me as I read Amy’s story, was that reading these pages aloud with your spouse, may bring a taste of Joy into the room.  Maybe give it a try…… 

Choose Joy! 

Patricia

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