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Roxanne Reviews "Community Board"

Roxanne reviews Community Board by Tara Conklin.

One of my mother’s sage maxims when I was a teen was, “Lighten up”. Surely this is also a common thought for most parents of histrionic teens and beyond.

Tara Conklin uses a similar lens in her whimsical novel Community Board. Her main character needs a large dose of “lighten up” after going overboard when her husband leaves her for another woman.

The fact that Darcy decides to go home to Massachusetts isn’t that odd, but her reaction to her parents having shuttered their home and relocated to Arizona leads to her comedic unraveling.

In melodramatic protest, Darcy begins a deep dive into self-imposed hibernation. She eats canned foods and reads old National Geographic magazines and while reading the Community Board posts which are as eccentric as what you’ve probably seen on our beloved Next Door.

Conklin’s playful, wry take on Darcy’s mid-life crisis is fun reading and probably excellent therapy for anyone who has been abandoned. Her slow food relationships with the neighborhood policeman, an elderly lady seeking escape from an assisted living facility as well as gay homeowner attempting to build a miniature theme park in their backyard make for buoyant fun.

The meta of course contains a plea for us all to be more self-aware with an eye towards laughing at our own follies.

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