No Room For Hondo – Book Review

No Room For Hondo by Joey Lynn Rescinitti

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Author: Joey Lynn Resciniti

 

I am a wife, mother, and writer.

I live North of Pittsburgh in a township populated by an extraordinary number of pizza shops. I married my high school sweetheart (it still counts even though we went to different high schools) in 2002. We have one daughter and two shih tzus called Luke & Leia. We like Star Wars.

I’m a chronic hair cutter/grower and though I started my blog, Big Teeth & Clouds in 2009, I stopped blogging almost entirely from the spring of 2011 until winter of 2014. I was almost famous once for writing about Eggo waffles. My novel spent about three years comfortably on a shelf. After a good long rest, it’s now available on amazon.com.

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Synopsis: Who are you? That can be a difficult question for a brand new first-time mother. Isolated by the stay-at-home life, sleep deprived, and under stimulated, Marty Roscigno wasn’t adjusting to her new life. Instead she was fostering a new reality of her own making.

No Room for Hondo follows Marty through mental illness and family crisis. She endures mundane everyday battles and extraordinary circumstances as she struggles to accept herself and find purpose in her life. Always wanting more, Marty has to decide: is it really enough just to be someone’s mother?

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Review:

No Room for Hondo is Joey Lynn Resciniti’s debut novel. I will note in advance that I am not a mother, so my views may be slightly skewed. I have been a nanny for a few years, but in no way does that exchange for motherhood.

In this novel, we are introduced to Marty Roscigno, the main character and first-time mother. This novel takes place over the course of six years. We meet Marty when her newborn daughter is born and then the book ends shortly after the daughter’s sixth birthday. The main premise of the book revolves around Marty trying to find out who she is after she becomes a mother. Because she has chosen the stay-at-home mom route, she seems to lose her purpose in-between sleep deprivation, being a wife, and being a mother. There is no time to just be Marty–but who is Marty?

As many parents go through, sleep deprivation is something that strikes the Roscigno family. Mostly Marty, who soon develops insomnia. She learns to survive on two hours of sleep, but not because she’s not exhausted, but because she’s too deprived of sleep her brain begins to go stir crazy convincing her that she can survive on just two hours of sleep because she has a bigger purpose.

As someone who isn’t a mother, I could still relate to Marty on a mental illness level, how exactly she’d start to unravel without sleeping, how putting yourself into a schedule you can’t control makes you start to lose focus on yourself, how you have so many expectations and you can’t fulfill them, and the ups and downs of medication and therapists. Marty dapples in depressive episodes, but that isn’t what defines the book or Marty.

What I loved about this book was it became an eye-opening experience in the life of one mother. As the prospect of becoming a mother nears for myself, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about motherhood, pregnancy, and the life thereafter.

By reading about Marty’s experience, I felt like I could live her life with her and learn about what could happen if you don’t have the proper support around you, if you don’t sleep, and if you can’t find your purpose and maybe aren’t able to articulate that to others.

I struggled with the timeline of this book. I’ve debated back and forth whether or not the book would have been better with a condensed timeline. I felt just like Marty, the book also lost focus on it’s purpose. While maybe intentional, bringing you on the journey of how Marty felt, I wish there was more a focus on a certain aspect. Because the timeline covers six years, it’s hard to focus too much on any aspect of her life or the years that pass. I understand the necessity, showing that Marty really found herself after her daughter starts kindergarten, when she has days completely to herself again, but I found it difficult to connect with Marty when she wasn’t dealing with mental illness. Throughout the beginning of the book, I thought that’s what it would revolve around, as it takes up a good portion of the book.

I also found myself wanting to like her husband, Luke. I wanted to believe he was a good husband, but felt he lacked a supportive nature his wife needed. I couldn’t connect with his character. I wanted him to have more of a presence in the household. He had me wishing Marty had a different husband and made me realize how I wouldn’t want my husband to act if I were in Marty’s shoes, which I don’t believe was the intent.

Overall, I think this is a great book for new mothers or any mother in general, who can heavily connect to Marty on a daily level, having gone through those experiences. I did love the little connections between Marty and the author’s life, more specifically in the blog they both have. It helped deepen the connection within the story. I suggest learning a little about the author before diving into the novel!

While it wasn’t a genre I normally read, I imagine when I become a mother someday, Marty’s story will reappear for me and help me connect further with her and the lifestyle.

Chelsea Lauren

Chelsea Lauren is addicted to drinking coffee, writing in cafes, and walking the beach. A New York native, she recently moved to Melbourne, FL and found having conversations with her character’s on the beach is the perfect cure to writer’s block. To learn more about her, check out “About Me.” Her debut novel, Underneath the Whiskey, is now available on Amazon.

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