Drug Abuse Oklahoma City: From Everyday Housewife to Extraordinary Bestseller

If you’re looking for the kind of fun, entertaining, and suspenseful book you don’t see everyday, then The Everyday Housewife: Murder, Drugs, and Ironing is the wickedly delightful novel for you! Katherine Beaumont, the heroine of talented author Bryan Foreman’s novel, is anything but an “everyday housewife,” by the end of the book, though she starts out as one. But the thirty- eight-year-old housewife snaps when she learns that her husband, Frank, has had an affair, and she leaves him and her two ungrateful teenage kids and boards a Greyhound bus from Oklahoma City headed to New York City, where she plans to fulfill her dreams about becoming a best- selling author. Her sometimes humorous, sometimes dangerous adventures trying to succeed in the Big Apple will make you want to root for her and cheer her on.

I may be wrong, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Katherine’s last name is “Beaumont.” My guess is that is a sly reference to the late actor Hugh Beaumont, who played the father in the black-and-white sitcom “Father Knows Best.” In Bryan Foreman’s novel, the father definitely doesn’t know best, and the mother, Katherine, is the parent who is the most responsible for holding the family together. Her teenagers are far from perfect, her daughter putting on too much weight, her son getting in trouble at school and in danger of becoming a sexual deviant; but, still, they are better off than when Katherine leaves for New York City. She feels guilty about leaving them, but can’t stand being in the same house with Frank anymore.

Katherine cleans all of the money out of her account, and arrives in New York with the princely sum of slightly more than $ 2,000. Her first priorities are to find an agent and an inexpensive place to stay. She learns, much to her chagrin, that the cost of living is way higher in New York than it is in Oklahoma, and that $ 2,000 won’t even pay for a single month’s rent for most of the apartments there, and before an agent considers taking someone on, you have to have a typed manuscript, preferably on a computer. Katherine’s is hand-written and unfinished. Mrs. Levi, an agent for romance authors, agrees to represent her for fifteen percent, and suggests her daughter could type it up for five dollars a page. Katherine has little choice, so she agrees. Also, Mrs. Levi tells her she has a brother who might have an inexpensive apartment he could rent her. At $ 1,200 a month, it’s the cheapest she can find, so she takes it on a month-to-month basis.

Her life in New York city is far from idyllic. Katherine’s apartment is bug-infested and small, the neighbors in the apartment above her are loud and fight, and her surety that her novel will sell within a couple of days is, she later realizes, very naive. She decides to get a job while she’s waiting for her novel about a female spy named Kitty who combats the Nazi menace to get snatched up and make her wealthy, do she becomes a waitress. Two waitresses she works with invite her to a bar after work, and offer her capsules of Ecstasy. Later, at a party, they try to seduce her and introduce her to a lesbian lifestyle. Joey, a concerned bartender who had served Katherine at the bar and who then shows up at the party, rescues her.

Joey seems to be a really nice guy, who doesn’t take advantage of her drunken and drugged state. They get to know each other better, and he tells her that he is a hit man for the Mafia. Katherine still wants to date him, believing that she knows the tender, real Joey, and that’s all that matters. She also continues writing, and becomes friends with one of her upstairs neighbors, Bree, who offers to do the typing for her and they go to a pawnshop and get a used computer to type with. Bree’s boyfriend, Leon, is abusive, and he’s a pimp who most people in the apartment building are afraid of. Katherine tries to stand up to him and she shelters Bree in her apartment whenever Bree gets too scared to stay with Leon, and he becomes too abusive, so she becomes one of his enemies.

Though Katherine and Joey get along well together for a while, he becomes concerned that his lifestyle might also be potentially dangerous for Katherine, so they split up, but remain friends. Later in the novel, Joey plays a key role in helping Katherine and Bree, but I won’t say why or how, because I don’t want to reveal too many spoilers. Suffice it to say, without his help, they both would have gotten into a lot of trouble with the law, and the novel would have turned out way differently than it does, with a much less happy ending.

One thing I really liked was reading the italicized parts of the novel that are parts of Kitty’s novel. They were kind of unrealistic, but fun to read. Katherine knows that putting in details like that there are white tigers on an island when tigers have never lived there before are unrealistic (though we later learn why there are tigers there), but it doesn’t matter, because it fits in with the action and will be explained as the novel progresses. She knows her readers will go along with her, and will get wrapped up in the story, and not care about what might at first seem to be logical inconsistencies.

Will Katherine make it in the Big Apple? Will she become a literary success, or return penniless to Oklahoma and her family? Or, will she experience a different fate altogether? If you like reading novels about everyday people whose strengths come out when they are tested, you’re sure to love reading The Everyday Housewife by Bryan Foreman.

Reviewed by Douglas R. Cobb for http://www.bestsellersworld.com

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