‘Everything needs a beginning. And once you begin, who knows what adventure awaits? Reach for the stars and you’ll land somewhere higher.’
Colleen Coleman’s *I’m Still Standing is about Evelyn Dooley. She has always been the good girl with a marriage, a job and a home. On the outside, Evelyn has it all but when the cracks in her marriage become too large to ignore life takes an unexpected turn. After the collapse of her marriage, Evelyn moves home and with the encouragement of sister, she sets her sights on Dublin.
ISS is brilliant. Coleman deals with real-life situations in a style of honesty, humour and warmth. The main character is so likable. Evelyn could be me or you: an ordinary woman with hopes and dreams. She allows people, who probably want the best for her, to dictate her life. When Evelyn realises this truth, a wonderful world blossoms around her. This new world in Dublin isn’t perfect and it does provide lots of challenges for Evelyn. However, despite her doubts and uncertainties, she steps into an unknown territory. Evelyn learns to live again, and she grabs hold of the stars. The people around her are a source of light, and they brighten-up her world in special ways.
Evelyn is a fighter with scars and bruises, and she is the type of protagonist that inspires people; Mrs Dooley inspires me. Her story is one of persistence in the face of trials and choosing to look ahead, which is not easy to do.
ISS shows that in the most unexpected places, surrounded by the unknown, one can truly shine and experience wonderful adventures. Some of the characters learn to embrace life for what it is- a journey of love, loss, risks and enlightenment.
Coleman’s romantic comedy stresses an important notion: failure is never the end, as long as you keep believing and moving forward with full-force.
The pace of this novel is just right, the characters are great, and the sentiment is a breath of fresh air and a spoonful of hope. With the turn of every page, this story has nestled a way into my heart.
*Previously known as Reach For The Stars