More than a cocktail for hot flashes and fluctuating libido, Underlying Notes strews crumbs of callousness, blame, self-sacrifice, repression, and restlessness along the unmarked trails of introspection and reinvention weaving through Carla Matteo's journey to find her own niche in the Second Act of life. Fragrance addiction numbs the pain of her father's tragic death, wards off the sting of a severed adolescent friendship, fortifies her against the stench of employment in her husband's waste management company on land purported to have been swindled from a downtrodden pig farmer by her shady father-in-law, and wafts through fantasies of having a fling with hubby's paesano. During a mid-life renaissance, the "juice" offers false security in Carla's quest to reinvent herself, while the ominous rose note in Paloma Picasso forces her to confront a troubled past. Carla's self-deprecating wit and candor navigate the reader past Rhode Island's affluent coastal communities, prominent landmarks, cherished institutions, and olive oil spills of the underworld as she reveals her quirks, inhibitions, anxieties, and fears. Her account is as multi-layered as the fragrances she wears to permeate back-stories that illuminate the present and surrender underlying secrets one morsel at a time.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Tired of reading articles about women of financial means with the ability to forsake obligations and responsibilities, the seeds for UNDERLYING NOTES were sown. That's when Carla Matteo stepped into my field of vision with all of her quirks, inhibitions, anxieties, and fears. Carla exemplifies the ordinary/extraordinary women amongst us who brave life's arduous course on a daily basis. Occasionally, we even triumph.
May the characters of UNDERLYING NOTES live on in memory long after the last page has been turned.
Regards, Eva PascoFrom the Inside Flap:
The floodtide awakened me with an initial burst of heat, bracing me for the infernal rush of flames through my body. Sweat moistened my upper lip, pooled between my breasts, and licked my armpits. Wet tendrils of hair stuck to my pillow. My feet felt clammy and caught themselves in the chance fold of the sheet. My flannel pajamas were damp and musty smelling. Now the tide would ebb, slowly and gracefully waltzing away after having drenched and scoured the shore. The surf tossed me aside like debris entangled in seaweed. The digital alarm clock radio on my end table blared 3:21 a.m. in red numbers. Neptune would not allow me to crabwalk back to my sea of peaceful sleep. I would be outcast on the grainy sand left to inspect litter, shells, odd-shaped pebbles, and unresolved issues of the waking hours. These night sweats were rituals of passage into my fifties.
The house conducted its own discordant symphony to make sure I stayed awake. The grandfather clock in the hall chimed the notes of Westminster Abbey. The boiler from the bowels of the basement started up again to keep rhythm with the east coast's January cold snap. Joe's snoring was a legato snorting and whooshing; then a staccato sputtering.
My mind began exploring some of the debris that washed ashore. Thoughts of my mother pushed their way to the front. She was holding up at seventy-six, and I wished I could lock her inside a timeframe where hope and fulfillment were still freshly sealed inside the cookie jar. Someday she'd cash in her ticket to play blind man's bluff with the boogeyman and I wouldn't be able to stop her demise. Would she spin toward incontinence? Cancer? Dementia? Accidental death? Heart attack?
My younger sister, Paula, elbowed her way into my thoughts. She lost the lottery in the drawing for faithful husbands, but had the good sense to boot him several years back. She struggles to be a good mother to her son while holding down a banking career. That lovely mermaid in the dating pool was still reclusive and elusive, afraid of encountering one more slippery eel.
Joe was a current running through my thoughts. Friend, husband, and lover for more than a silver jubilee, he has been a roguish pirate commandeering a spectral ship of fools containing the passengers of both our families. Close to a year ago I rocked the boat by escaping in the dinghy to do some exploring on my own, making the decision to quit my job as office manager for Matteo Rubbish Removal. In Joe's eyes I had committed mutiny. Thus far I've just managed to stay afloat in a shallow harbor of domesticity, content to cook, clean, sort, organize, and redecorate--pavilions of a proud Italian housewife. Gusty winds of self-guilt and responsibility toy with my moral compass and hinder me from accessing the open ocean. Storms of turmoil rage against my will for independence and adventure in uncharted waters. My harbor isn't filled with tea leaves of protest--it is bloodied with tomato sauce!
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Charles River Press. Perfect Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Light wear to edges and pages. Cover and spine show no easily noticeable damage. Bookseller Inventory # G097938446XI4N00
Book Description Charles River Press. Perfect Paperback. Book Condition: VERY GOOD. Light rubbing wear to cover, spine and page edges. Very minimal writing or notations in margins not affecting the text. Possible clean ex-library copy, with their stickers and or stamp(s). Bookseller Inventory # 2763380433