Changing Spaces (King)

Changing Spaces 
Nancy King, 2014
Plain View Press
260 pp.
ISBN-13: 9781891386435

What would you do if you woke up in your usual life, and by evening, the world as you'd known it was irrevocably changed?

Join runaway wife, Laura Feldman, as she hits the road after the love of her life—her husband of 40 years—suddenly wants a divorce to be with a younger woman. Along the bumpy road to reconnecting her disconnected self, this Midwestern wife finds a new life in the bold colors and close friendships of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Unbeknownst to her, Laura's husband is in hot pursuit while she gets a crash course in assertiveness and an unforgettable "makeover."

When her husband finally catches up with Laura, that's when the real fun begins. (From the publisher.)

Author Bio
Where—Brooklyn, New York, New York, USA
Education—B.S., State University of New York;
   M.A., Universityof Delaware; Ph.D., Union
   Institute and University
Currently—lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Nancy King, Ph.D is the award-winning author of several novels including Changing Spaces, The Stones Speak (which was optioned for a film), Morning Light, A Woman Walking, and the non-fiction Dancing with Wonder: Self-Discovery through Stories.

She frequently writes for the online travel journal, Your Life Is A Trip. Dr. King has extensive experience teaching in universities in Delaware and New Mexico (Honors Programs [Theatre, Creativity and World Literature], and currently conducts arts-based workshops internationally. She finds inspiration in weaving and hiking in the mountains of Santa Fe, New Mexico where she makes her home. (From the publisher.)

Visit the author's website.
Follow Nancy King on Facebook.

Book Reviews
Location. Location. Location. Nancy King gets it right when she explores how a woman radically changes her life by changing her location. A plant can't thrive in any old soil; it has to be the right terrain. Changing Spaces is a reminder that one can leave the past behind, find new soil, and thrive in a different, and better, present and future. A page turner...You feel like the proverbial fly on the adobe wall when you see how Laura learns the power of female friendship.
Judith Fein, author (Life Is a Trip and The Spoon from Minkowitz)

Heartbreak turns to intrigue. A season of grief leads to a wig, a closet, a script, cookie recipes, new friendships, and a wide-open future.
Jeanne Murray Walker, author (Geography of Memory)

Nancy King guides Laura with a steady hand in this engaging tale of loss and empowerment to which many readers will surely relate.
Kate Buckley, author (Choices)

A deeply felt and powerfully experienced tale...”
Gwen Davis, author (The Pretenders)

Not since Marilyn French's 70s novel, The Women's Room, has there been such a groundbreaking novel...As Laura takes on Bed & Breakfast duties in Santa Fe, and frees her spirit in the natural beauty of New Mexico, we want her to succeed. But how will she solve that dilemma that was presented so succinctly in Muriel's Wedding when Muriel says, "I can change..." and her mean-girl friends sniff, "You'll still be YOU"? How Laura solves this dilemma is deliciously amusing as she learns how to take on a new "persona" through theater techniques that lead to fresh assertiveness.
Dancing in the Experience Lane Book Review Blog

Discussion Questions
1. On the morning Laura’s husband Zach plans to leave her, his contradictory behavior tips her off that something is amiss. What are the clues? If their roles were reversed, do you think Zach would have noticed Laura’s behavioral changes?

2. When Laura woke up, her husband made love to her, and that afternoon, he told her that he wanted a divorce. How did you react to this contradictory behavior?

3. How would you describe Zach’s actions and his point of view? Have you ever thought your mind was made up about a major life change, but then had second thoughts?

4. What do you think about Laura’s actions in the midst of her grief and confusion? In your experience, has acting on impulse had good results?

5. Who do you think has more post-divorce options: a man or a woman? If they are both in their sixties, would that fact affect their chances for happiness?

6. How would a different era have affected this story? Could Laura have made a similar life transition in the 1900s or the 1950s?

7. Were there any characters you disliked or felt sorry for?

8. When Laura meets Bountiful Sunshine, what is her reaction? Have you ever felt drawn to someone because of their style? How would you describe yourself?

9. Who and what empowers Laura along her journey?

10. What do you think this book is saying about friendships with women? Do you agree or disagree?

11. What was your reaction to Laura’s decision to help run the Bed & Breakfast?

12. Have you ever been to New Mexico or Santa Fe, or do you live there now? If yes, How accurate do you think the descriptions of terrain, people and culture are? If no, does this story make you want to go there?

13. Do you agree that changing location can bring about renewal and healing, or is it better to stay closer to your roots and familiar territory in times of trouble?

14. What do you think the author is saying about how men and women relate?

15. What do you think of Laura’s “makeover”? If you wanted to change something about yourself, what role model would you choose? Have you ever “tried out” another personality? If yes, how did it make you feel? How did people react?

16. What was your reaction when Zach shows up and encounters Laura’s “new” identity? Have you ever encountered an old friend whom you failed to  recognize?

17. Imagine the lives of the characters after the novel. How do they unfold?
(Questions issued by the publisher.)

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