Can Erika build a life of her own after her marriage to the cross-dressing-church-lady organist?
When her husband went public, Erika, a twenty-three-year-old schoolteacher with low self-esteem had to decide: honor her wedding vows and suffer the humiliation or leave him and face a life alone. Her marriage to Arvid, a thirty-two-year-old classical musician who struggles with daddy issues, is one of lies and deceit.
Erika’s journey from the mundane life of a high school teacher to a new beginning in a small town in the Carolina mountains involves a secret inheritance, thirty-foot yacht, a Junkanoo parade in the Bahamas, a flamboyant yachtsman, and a secret cross-dressing poker party.
It takes a tragic accident, the honesty of a Jiminy-Cricket-like friend, the love of an attentive soul mate, and her own new-found confidence for her to become a wealthy young widow with a successful art business, a place in the community and a solid sense of personal achievement.
It’s My Turn is a story full of heart. You will cheer for a woman who didn’t know her own strengths until she transitioned through a trouble-filled marriage to self-confidence and independence.
An interesting story with a ton of texture and characters that feel real.
The heart of this story is how Erika, a great protagonist, enters a relationship with Arvid, an interesting character on his own, and how she fell into it, began to find herself within it, and really came into her own after it.
Marcott's authorial voice has a real sense of confidence and authority on a wide range of topics. We see theatre and classical music both deftly described. He writes about boating and open- ocean sailing with a clear sense of understanding and expertise. His descriptions of a range of coastal setting are described convincingly, such that they all seem like individuated and unique places.
His descriptions of gossipy church politics paired with small tourist-town concerns feel true, as does his consideration of a closeted culture of cross-dressing that's inclusive of gay and trans identities as well as straight/hetero identities/relationships that hold space for character and gender-fluid play; the range feels particularly progressive and inclusive, and it's commendable. In short, this book has a ton of texture all fully realized on the page, never superfluous, I'm impressed at how much is packed in here.
Aside from the sheer depth of his settings, and communities, the real strength of this story is the characters who feel like real people with real lives. Marcott does not bury his characters in the central story but lets them live like real people with hobbies and interest, religious beliefs, and real estate interests. With a strong and deft voice, he juggles a large cast of characters while keeping them from blending together or beginning to feel like plot devices.
I thoroughly enjoyed this interesting and accomplished novel, and I expect others will too.
Ashley Strosnyder, Managing Editor, Prairie Schooner