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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
No, Step Crazy isn't about being crazy about climbing steps. Step Crazy is about not being too crazy about becoming a step-parent. Or more accurately, feeling like you're crazy once you become a step-mother, which is what happens to Josie when she marries Tom after his divorce.
According to the author, Mary Anne LaPorte, Step Crazy is fiction. Perhaps so, but given that she and her real life husband of 30 years have been step-parents, and the fact that the book is written memoir style, one can't help but wonder if there's some disguised real life memories tossed into Step Crazy. Whatever the case, writing it as a memoir was a brilliant move by the author, as it takes the reader into Josie's mind, revealing what she's really thinking while wearing a brave smile and pretending everything's okay when it's not. And by the time the reader has lived through the difficulties Josie faces raising another woman's children, dealing with the ex-wife who can't let go of either her former husband or the children, being confused and upset by a husband who's too busy...or too thick to see her suffering, and resisting the urge to run away from it all, only to find out she is now pregnant with her first child, the writing on the wall is clear: be very, very sure you really are ready to become a step-parent.
Step Crazy captures our interest with a good balance of first person fictional narration, lively scenes, exchanges of dialogue between characters, and the narrator's own reflections. In the latter third of the book, Mary Anne LaPorte dispenses with the story line to offer wit and wisdom born from the experience of being a real life step-parent. Readers facing this situation in their own lives will respond both emotionally and intellectually to Step Crazy. With today's high divorce rates combined with single parents' ongoing search for a better suited partner, Step Crazy is a timely book. Nicely illustrated too! Well done, Mary Anne LaPorte.