Author: Joanie Chevalier
Genre: Contemporary, psychological self-belief fiction
Release date: July 20th, 2015
Length: 40 pages
Blurb: Meet Marlee, a woman who lives a comfortable but simple life with her loving partner, the adorable Larry. She discovers that covertly listening in on other people’s conversations during lunch hour excites her and adds to her otherwise humble life. When she overhears unpleasant gossip about herself, she becomes obsessed with changing her personality and makes the bad decision to become someone she’s not. After her total makeover, Marlee suddenly finds herself basking in the attention of her co-workers and is ecstatic when she’s finally invited to sit at the “popular” table at work. But is a personality change really worth the price? Is being popular worth losing herself, possibly the love of her life and/or redefining her own definition of happiness?
Come and take part in Marlee’s life, even though it’s only for a short time, and experience her yearning to belong and be accepted for who she is. You may be surprised by the unexpected twist in her story.
Lunchtime Eavesdropper is a real ‘stay true to yourself’ kinda read. The psychological effects of overhearing people talk about yourself can take over even rational thoughts. And, this is how is affects Marlee. Although the comments are hurtful, she takes heed and begins to question herself, doubting who she really is.
It all became a bit of fun, changing her appearance, wanting to share some time with girlfriends and being able to talk with them. But, after a night out clubbing, she begins to think that she has taken things too far. She never really enjoyed these girls’ company anyway, so why start to now?
This novella explores the psychological effects that others can have on a person when expressing their personal opinion, or even the opinion that they believe others want to hear when they are trying to be popular and fit in.
Marlee loves Larry. He is the love of her life. He has always loved her for who she is and how she treats him, But, with changes that Marlee is making, it does begin to affect him too.
It isn’t all too serious as Marlee tells the reader in first person her most innermost thoughts. Some are quite flippant or amusing comments. And when she begins making some changes, during a shopping trip she gets a little excited when she finds a beautiful photo frame, but with the perfect, handsome guy she’s ever seen. She decides to buy it and later places it on her office desk, making out that the guy is in fact Larry!
With some surprises there are a few times when you will question what is really happening. There is a slight realisation towards the end of this short story that did make me smile, even though there is a more serious message. Is it really worth changing for other people? For the trouble and upset it can cause you and those around you? The story hints in places at having some criminal element, but the most powerful subject is Marlee’s psychological state and how she deals with her life – fantasy or otherwise!
A copy of Lunchtime Eavesdropper was provided by the author in return for a fair and honest review.
Reviewed by Caroline Barker
Reluctantly, I returned the frame to the dusty shelf, swearing, almost sure that my bizarre behavior was probably because I’ve been depressed ever since The Tragic Event. I felt ashamed and I walked away slowly and dejectedly from the shelf with the beautiful frame. But when I reached the end of the aisle, I couldn’t help myself and made a quick u-turn causing my heel to squeak as it left a black skid mark on the linoleum. When I returned to the framed photo, I snatched it up, like a metal claw inside a machine full of stuffed animals. My hand was the claw and I had won the top prize: a beautiful sea shelled frame with a photo of a gorgeous male model, his deep brown eyes gazing at me with desire.
I was born in the L.A. area and our family moved up and down the West Coast for most of my childhood, finally settling in Washington State when I was about 12. After living many years in Washington State, where it is gray for 350 days of the year (might be an exaggeration but it’s close!), I finally decided I needed more vitamin D and made the decision to move to the San Francisco Bay area. I pay more taxes in California but I call it the “Sun/Fun Tax,” so it’s okay! Since I didn’t know anyone when I moved, I decided that I could write in (all) my spare time (besides working full-time). In addition to writing, I love being out in my yard creating color and camping in my teardrop trailer. I’m lucky that I have one fantastic boyfriend who loves traveling with me and I live with my son, an awkward teenage boy/man who does laundry when he can’t find anything clean to wear from his floor.
Facebook: Author Joanie Chevalier