Monday, May 14

Book Review: Leftovers by Arthur Wooten

Arthur Wooten (Wise Bear William, Birthday Pie) brings his signature sitting-around-the-coffee-shoppe conversational style of writing to his latest novel, Leftovers. Click here to read review of Wise Bear William. Click here to read review of Birthday Pie.

While storytelling in a comedic tone is certainly a Wooten specialty, do not discount his way of getting under your skin with a heart-warming tale.

Leftovers is no exception.

Set in the 1950s, the story brings to light difficulties women faced attempting to break the mold during the post World War II time frame. No longer were females willing to stay at home and tend to household chores. No longer were they without options. One such avenue out of male dependency was door-to-door sales.

In this case – Tupperware. The preferred sales method of the multi-billion dollar corporation was through holding fun parties with friends; parties that put cash into the pockets of the hostess and Tupperware dealer.

The company brought women out of their kitchens to sell the plastic containers which kept leftovers fresh one burp at a time. More than monetary gain, however, are the independence and confidence won by the ladies, along with bonuses, such as trips and cars.

When Vivian Lawson’s husband plunges her into destitution and breaks her spirit with extramarital affairs, verbal and physical abuse, there is nowhere to go except up. Without money, car or home, reality and desperation set in uncovering an unknown courage from within the timid woman. Two friends, Babs and Stew, help Vivian become the No. 1 sales person of the home-party company. The suburban housewife outsells all the others in a focused frenzy only understood by those who have been unceremoniously dumped by a romantic partner.

There grows inside a need to prove, a desire to feel on top of the world again and a recklessness urging the most outrageous courageous action. From that point, the confidence grows, the new level of self awareness is charted and a fresh outlook on life is found. Coming out of the cocoon of a breakup is a beauty from within that comes from knowing the sweet taste of victory.

With a new lease on life, Vivian becomes the star of Tupperware as national spokesperson and model for the company. Getting caught up in the sparkle of the glamorous life, friends soon are forgotten and material things become treasured over people. Lawson loses sight of all that is important and becomes a person thoroughly unlikeable. With the same inner strength tapped into when reaching for a new life, the expert of plastic containers regains her kinder self by taking a fresh look at herself.

Romance, comedy and self-discovery turn the mousy housewife into a confident, modern, business savvy woman giving inspiration to anyone who has ever felt shaken in their own life.

Bottom Line: In Leftovers, Arthur Wooten has once again brought to life fictional characters who just might actually be members of your own family.

Buy the book: GalaxisProductions/Leftovers

About the author: Arthur Wooten is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Wise Bear William, Birthday Pie, On Picking Fruit and Fruit Cocktail. He has also written for television, theater and film and currently resides in New York City.

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated columnist, travel writer, performing arts and restaurant critic. Catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC, and follow her on Twitter @GottaGo and Facebook. Gotta Go is published on and in M magazine and the following newspapers: South Sider Voice, Indiana Weekender, New Palestine Reporter, Pendleton Times Reporter and Fortville-McCordsville Reporter.

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