Title: Outside the Ordinary World
Author: Dori Ostermiller
Publication Date: July 27, 2010
Paperback: 400 pages
From the Publisher:
Sylvia Sandon always swore she wouldn’t become her mother. But one August morning she finds herself walking the same path as the fervently religious yet faithless Elaine…into an affair she feels powerless to resist.
Against the backdrop of California brush fires in the 1970s, twelve-year-old Sylvia had agreed to hold a secret that would devour her family’s dream of happiness. Now struggling to create a better life in small-town New England, Sylvia nonetheless feels caught in the coils of history: she confronts the embers of her dying marriage, the all-consuming needs of her two daughters and her faltering artistic career. Then Tai Rosen—the father of a student—ignites an unexpected passion and a familiar betrayal that could illuminate the past, even as it jeopardizes everything dear.
Outside the Ordinary World reveals what lies beneath the surface of infidelity. But at its heart, it is the story of the powerful, sometimes disturbing bond between mothers and daughters, and the shimmering line between self-revelation and self-destruction….
A beautiful and eloquently written debut novel, Outside the Ordinary World by Dori Ostermiller is a powerful story of infidelity, secrets and the bonds between mothers and daughters. Ostermiller’s debut is an extraordinary work of literary prose with compelling and captivating storylines begging the question is one destined to become one’s mother and if so when does the process begin? Ostermiller’s characters are delightful in their own flawed ways, realistic and could easily be thought of as real. Outside the Ordinary World takes the reader back and forth over a thirty year time span to show the interconnectedness between mother and daughter, daughter and mother, and husbands and wives in a seamless manner which made the story all the more enjoyable to read, as enjoyable as topics such as infidelity can be enjoyed. Ostermiller’s debut novel is one of extraordinary beauty and makes for an exceptional work of literary fiction, which delves far beyond the world of infidelity. I would recommend Outside the Ordinary World to any reader who enjoys a good storyline as well as beautiful prose. Due to the subject matter I believe Outside the Ordinary World would make for an excellent discussion group pick.
Dori Ostermiller was born in Los Angeles, a fifth-generation Californian. In her early 20′s, she abandoned her path as a pre-med student to pursue an MFA in writing at the University of Massachusetts. Since then, her work has appeared in numerous literary journals, including The Bellingham Review, Roanoke Review, Alligator Juniper, Chautauqua Literary Journal and the Massachusetts Review. She is the recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist’s Grant and a Tobias Wolf Fiction award, and is the founder of Writers in Progress, a literary arts center in Western Massachusetts.
Her debut novel, Outside the Ordinary World, was released by MIRA in August, 2010. She lives in Northampton, with her husband and two daughters, and is at work on her second novel.
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I received a complimentary copy of Outside the Ordinary World by Dori Ostermiller from TLC Book Tours to be a part of this tour and offer my honest review of the book. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned book.