About the book, Painting Bananas
Painting Bananas is all about love, dreams and taking stock.
Two happy couples, one person from each on the verge of change. But as paths cross and plans unfold, will their spouses reveal their true colours?
Alison struggles with insomnia. She also hates her job and fantasizes about throttling her irritating oaf-of-a boss. Thankfully, her lifelong plan to return to university will soon be realized. After supporting her husband in his career for over twenty years, it’s now her turn. He’s rooting for her every step of the way. Or so she thinks.
Meanwhile, Christopher has a wake-up call with his health. Somehow, pre-diabetes has replaced his six-pack. He must take stock immediately. He realises that the perfect solution is right under his nose. He can’t wait to share his brilliant idea with his wife. The future looks good. But does she agree?
Will the spouses show their support? Or will Alison and Christopher start to wonder whether they really know their other halves?
Painting Bananas was written and formatted with British grammar, punctuation and humour. It is the second novel in Amanda Paull’s Cherry Dene series but can be read as a standalone story.
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About the author, Amanda Paull
Amanda Paull is a writer of humorous romantic fiction. She lives in the North East of England with her husband and works in the public sector. The inspiration for her stories comes from real life, which she tries to show the funnier side of by embellishing to the hilt.
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Alison & Nathan and Christopher & Sandy, the four people at the center of Painting Bananas, are two couples who have been married for decades and, as empty-nesters (one couple has adult twins, the other has a grown daughter), have yet to learn how to live with only each other, or even communicate effectively.
Amanda Paull has drawn each couple very vividly, and made their relationships distinct. Alison is the epitome of a woman being gaslighted, first by her doctor, but also by her husband. Christopher is part of a traditional marriage of the sort that feels more like my grandparents’ dynamic than the relationship my husband and I (married 25 years last March) have, or even that my parents had. He’s changed to a lower-paying job in order to travel less and practice self-care because of a pre-diabetes diagnoses, and his wife seems largely oblivious.
If this sounds like a sad story, rest assured, it isn’t. Or at least, not entirely. Alison and Christopher meet and start chatting over lunch, and through them, the rest of the story unfolds. We also see their children both relating to their parents, and also observing and commenting on them, which Paull has done to great effect – they’re in the story, but they’re also a bridge between we readers and the main action.
What I liked was that even though this novel dealt with serious issue, there were moments of organic humor. Most of it wasn’t the kind that generates belly laughs, but rather the type where you nod, smile, maybe even chuckle, and recognize glimmers of yourself in the narrative.
Something I found really refreshing was that Alison and Christopher talk and share, but don’t have an affair. Author Paull has written a lovely friendship between the two, and I really enjoyed their dynamic.
Painting Bananas is an easy read about some hard truths of the sort we will all face one day, and the characters are absolutely worth spending time with.
Goes well with hot tea, tomato soup, and a toasted cheese sandwich.