Olivia is thirty-two and living back home with her mother in Caprock, small-town Texas. Her therapist is a girl she went to high school with; her promising career in journalism has dwindled to nothing, and she spends her days hawking jewellery in a Mall following a favour from a friend. Life is back on an even-keel after her descent into drug abuse, but it's a far cry fromOlivia is thirty-two and living back home with her mother in Caprock, small-town Texas. Her therapist is a girl she went to high school with; her promising career in journalism has dwindled to nothing, and she spends her days hawking jewellery in a Mall following a favour from a friend. Life is back on an even-keel after her descent into drug abuse, but it's a far cry from the one she imagined ...Then, under pressure to take up a hobby, she decides to try urban exploration. Soon she's poking through derelict homes, churches and schools across North Texas. But Olivia knows her therapist would disapprove. What began as a harmless distraction soon becomes a lucrative business as she collects and sells antique fittings and fixtures online.Her new-found freedom starts to spiral out of control. Victimless trespass is fast evolving into criminal behaviour, and the path her rehabilitation is taking leads Olivia to question her own moral code. She's not supposed to withhold information from her therapist - yet she does.Nor is she supposed to be stashing money in a secret account when she owes so much to so many - and although she's supposedly prohibited from communicating with people from her past, old friends keep showing up, making demands and threats. To add to it all, her baby sister has turned up pregnant, the question of their absent fathers has once more been unearthed, and her prescribed medication is inducing an unnatural detachment that makes her feel as though she's not present in her own life.Tackling difficult subjects with a warmth and humour, and creating an unforgettable protagonist, Jen Waldo brings an electrifying tone to fiction - she is an astonishing new American voice who will stop you in her tracks....
|Title||:||Old Buildings In North Texas|
|Number of Pages||:||264 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Old Buildings In North Texas Reviews
Novel set in NORTH TEXAS - CAPROCKOlivia was a successful journalist in Dallas, but she had a cocaine habit that led to a heart attack and a criminal record. She is released into her mother’s care in Caprock, a town in the Texas Panhandle where nothing happens. Her mother controls every aspect of her life – it’s just like being a kid again. She also has a court appointed therapist and a court appointed probation officer ‘looking after’ her.Her very pregnant, but unmarried, sister appears on the doorstep. Olivia and her sister, Chloe, are bored… and Olivia is encouraged by her therapist to find a hobby. She chooses ‘urbexing’ (urban exploration) and soon they are involved in the semi-legal activity of obtaining access to boarded up and derelict buildings. Semi-legal because they are not actually breaking and entering – just finding access routes (like an unlocked first floor window…). When ‘urbexing’ you are not supposed to remove anything, but temptation proves too much for Olivia. They remove some antique items from an old dilapidated mansion outside Caprock, which Olivia then sells online. And then (after the birth of Chloe’s baby) she moves up the illegal scale – forcing entry into some buildings and stealing valuable content. She has a nice little business going for her…Meanwhile she is all the time dodging the obsessive presence of her mother, and working round the appointments with her therapist and probation officer – who just might not approve of the hobby she has found herself.Old Buildings In North Texas is an amusingly written and well worked book – with many an interesting sideline. There is the relationship between Olivia and her therapist (an old school ‘friend’ who doesn’t want to know – professional business only, please), the 54 year old gay jeweller – always dressed as a macho cowboy – from whom Olivia works and who is her mother’s best friend and confidante, and Chloe’s adventures in tracking down the decidedly odd and distinctly controlling father who did not know of her existence until she approached him for money. It also has its serious side. Jen Waldo says that the Olivia character is based on a recovering addict friend of hers. The times at which Olivia wishes she could resume her relationship with candycaine, gutter glitter, wacky dust, rail, Blanca, and Mr Snow are frightenly real and a tad scary…It is quite definitely a book that I found well worth reading.
This was an enjoyable read - a nice concept perhaps not taken to its fullest extent. Part of the reason it couldn't get a higher rating though was the frequency of grammatical errors - missed and misplaced apostrophes and speech marks, for example. These quite often broke the flow of an otherwise good book.
I picked this up because I used to be an urban explorer and I really miss it, so really wanted to read a book about it. Also it's good to read a book set in a different place than usual, North Texas.It was an enjoyable read and I would recommend it but by the end it seemed a bit all over the place and the ending was a bit abrupt.
A strange story about an even stranger hobbyThis book is very readable and quite entertaining but didn’t really leave any impression on me which is unusual.The story is about Olivia a 32-year-old who has become hooked on cocaine thereby suffering a heart attack and is now back living with her mother who now has control over nearly every aspect of her life. She has a therapist who she was at school with who seems unable to relate to her and encourages her to do things which are of no interest to Olivia. Finally, after being told to find a hobby to occupy her mind she picks something called urban exploration. This consists of finding derelict buildings, breaking into them and exploring them. Olivia soon discovers that some of these buildings contain very valuable items and begins to steal them and sell them on the internet. She then invests the money in her own bank account, an action which makes her feel more independent.Olivia’s younger sister, Chloe, who is at medical school suddenly turns up back at home 9 months pregnant and has agreed to have the child adopted. Their mother had deliberately got pregnant with both her daughters without allowing the fathers to know and urges Chloe to keep her baby. Chloe is reluctant but changes her mind when she meets her father who is desperate for her to keep the child but eventually becomes obsessive.This story seems to jump about from one idea to another and did not seem very realistic to me, I also thought the ending was quite inconclusive so although I quite enjoyed reading it, it will not remain in my memory as many books do. DexterBreakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review