Red Dress, Sep 2003, 12.95, 336 pp.
In Vancouver, at not quite thirty, Lucy Madison wonders why her life feels it's in perpetual spin cycle. Her roommate, a voluptuous towering Viking, has a man a night while Lucy has a man a century. Her job at the Rogues Art Gallery is to hold up the sculptures so that they stand perfectly erect though male phallic symbols (all the exhibited work) seems as hard as her boss nasty Nadine. Her biker grandfather committed suicide with one last drive into the sunset instead of cancer therapy. He willed her his launderette and to take care of his squeeze of six years, Connie the Vegas stripper who is pregnant with Lucy's future aunt or uncle. Lucy's lover is a bore, her brother has escaped from the nut house in his Superman costume and stalks Lucy, and her father has lost it.
Surrounded by crazies, losers, and bloodsuckers, Lucy needs a dramatic change or she will become her sibling's tights wearing sidekick in the loony farm. She sees the launderette that her grandfather left her as the ticket to rinse her life anew, but will she take the chance of starting a fresh cycle?
Though Lucy's troubles seem minor in the scheme of life, she is a fresh individual poorly coping with those infringing in her sphere, which is why she is considering changing her lifestyle. The story line is amusing with serious undertones that sometimes get lost in Lucy's laments. Still Betsy Burke provides a solid look at a person at the crossroads of major decision making as Lucy wonders is that all there is?
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner