A “post it” with a phone number and hearts is affixed to a cubicle. She will make this call at least eleven times a day. This number is the man who vehemently hates her. She is the telemarketer named Jane. Or is she?
Oh, Honey is a laugh out loud at times albeit dark short story. Recounted in the present day Jane, a drug popping telemarketer narrates her story. She is on probation for possession and has regular meetings with her officer. And Jane knows how to push people’s buttons. Especially, one client’s phone number. But suddenly, the roles are reversed, and someone is playing her at her own game. The author takes us down a twisty path that has no good outcome.
The characters in Oh Honey evoke many emotional reactions for the reader. They are three-dimensional and cringeworthy. Jane is witty and sarcastic and a spin master. She is also an unreliable story teller. Each time she makes a phone call, she is someone else. Belle. Ariel. Pocahontas. Or the ladies in Jane Austin’s Emma. She is on lithium, a cutter, and living life on the edge. She is in constant suicidal rumination about her death. About midway in the narrative, we get a deeper insight into a child’s life in poverty buttressed with a mother’s abuse and neglect.
Central to Jane’s life are her three friends. The conspiracist and roommate Keats. Ivy, Keat’s loquacious girlfriend. And Frank, the pen coveting, and thieving artist. All these characters are so insanely simple and yet unpredictable. Except they may be her only salvation.
Oh, Honey gives you a glimpse into an unmotivated young adult’s struggle with bipolar disorder and drug abuse. It is dark and frightening as Jane always seems to find the edge of the cliff.
The brief description of the book is vague and perhaps on purpose. It was not what I expected. I started reading this book in the morning and finished it by the afternoon. Gritty and awesome. In this well-written narrative, I laughed and felt morose all on the same page over and over.
For a quick, powerful and unconventional novel that will make you sit there and wonder what you just read, Oh Honey is your book! Highly recommend. Eh?
Thank you, NetGalley and Holland House for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.