The winner of Substitute Me by Lori Tharps is...
Thank you for your comments and participation on Unicorn Bell. Please email me at Charity(dot)Bradford(at)gmail(dot)com with your mailing address and I'll drop the book in the mail for you.
"A great read! I can only imagine the discussions this novel will stimulate in book clubs." Kathleen Grissom, author of The Kitchen House.
Blurb from the press release:
"Zora Anderson, an African American 30-year-old college dropout with
wanderlust, leaves her accidental au pair position in Paris and returns
to her hometown of Ann Arbor with no life plan in mind and no real goals
on the horizon. With pressure mounting from her well-educated,
upper-middle class parents to do something useful with her life and with
her own self-doubt growing, Zora decides to start over in New York and
sublets a small Fort Greene studio apartment from a friend who is
attending college in Massachusetts. After combing the newspaper
classifieds and finding a want ad for a “substitute me,” Zora lands a
job in Park Slope with a Wasp-y professional couple in their 30s, Kate
and Brad Carter, to look after their young son, Oliver.
Although Zora’s primary goal is to merely keep the rent money coming in
to pay for her sublet, she soon becomes attached to Oliver, a baby with a
sweet disposition who is adored by his parents. But as happy as she is
with the Carters, Zora keeps her job a secret from her parents whom she
is certain will view her position as demeaning and not much different
than one of servitude. While Oliver’s mother, Kate, initially feels
ambivalent about returning to work after her maternity leave, she soon
adjusts to being back in the office and spends long hours there as she
keeps a close eye on a competitive colleague who wants her job. With
Kate’s new long hours, Zora begins working overtime to accommodate her
employer’s hectic schedule and becomes a true substitute in the Carter
household in ways she never would have imagined."