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December 8, 2020

An Awesome Audiobook Filled with Great Characters: THE HEADSHRINKER'S BRIGADE

by Donna Huber

On most days, Julia Longley felt like a passable fraud. But on Friday night, as she sat in the newspaper editing room next to her friend Graham while he ran through his day's photos, this belief slid under her skin like electricity. (p. 1)
Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

The Headshrinker's Brigade
Oct 2020; Treaty Oak Publishers/The Block House
978-1943658343; women's fiction
audio (12h29min); ebook, print (414 pages)
I loved this audiobook. Leslie Tourish's writing is tight and entertaining. Carrington MacDuffie's performance really brought the characters of The Headshrinker's Brigade to life. I couldn't wait to listen to this book every day and was a little sad when I finished it. While it is perfect as a stand-alone novel, part of me hopes to see these characters again.

I immediately connected with the main character Julia. She's in her 30s (I think) and is still trying to find herself. It is refreshing to have an older character not have everything figured out.

Julie is a newspaper photographer and engaged to one of the paper's reporters. It seems like her life is settled even though she doesn't really feel like this is a good career fit. But who wants to reinvent themselves when on the outside everything looks peachy? It takes a freak bout of blindness after photographing a horrible car accident to open her eyes about her life (pun intended). The blindness is temporary, brought on by stress. I don't know if this is a real condition but Tourish makes it a believable plot point. This incident has her re-evaluating more than just her career choice.

I know what it is like to have a good job but not feeling like it is where you want to be for the rest of your career. I also know what it is like to not know what else you would do for a living. So all of Julia's thoughts and feelings are valid and realistic.

Changing careers doesn't just affect her work life. Her relationship with fiance Nick is also affected. Mostly because Nick's idea of a partnership is having her follow him around as he establishes his newspaper career and that would be so much easier if she just stayed a newspaper photographer.

The secondary characters are great as well. They were all realistic with their little (and sometimes big) flaws. They endeared themselves to me and I came to care about them just as much as I cared about Julia. 

I listened to most of the book while at home on vacation. It was easy to do chores around the house while listening. I did listen to a bit of it at work just to see how devoted I needed to be to listening to the story before I lost the plot. I found that it was pretty easy to follow the story while doing routine tasks. But it definitely was most enjoyable when I could devote all my attention the story. It would be the perfect companion for your driving commute.

I realized it's been a while since I read any women's fiction and this was definitely a great story to reacquaint myself with the genre. If you are looking for a book about a strong female who isn't afraid to find what makes her happy, then you need to get this book.

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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  1. Fascinating excerpt and concept for a book. I also love that cover! Thanks for sharing, and here's mine: “GOODNIGHT BEAUTIFUL”

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Sounds like an interesting one!