The saga of supermom Becky Miller continues in Sharon Hinck’s second novel, Renovating Becky Miller. Becky’s part-time job at the church is now firing on all cylinders. The kids are growing, two are in school and are constantly needing to be dropped off or picked up. Husband Kevin is angling for a bigger house. Yet Becky manages to keep it all together – even finding time to spread her own brand of rescue-retardant on the various hot spots that threaten to flare up at work and home – without letting the knee she wrecked in The Secret Life of Becky Miller slow her down.
But if you think the early pages of Renovating are full of potholes, wait till a rambling fixer-upper, Kevin’s Mom, and Becky’s sister enter the picture. The story becomes a comedy of errors with poor Becky lurching from one crisis to the next as she attempts to juggle job, kids, friendships, elder- and sister-care, renovating a house, and her relationship with Kevin.
Again Hinck’s writing shimmers. The style is snappy and energetic with few interludes in the action. Becky’s humorous mom-lit voice and the suburban setting will resonate with the anyone who’s ever had to break up a sibling fight, practically lives in the family’s van, or regularly looks for favorite hockey socks in the bottom of the hamper.
Hinck uses the same pre-chapter (Walter Mitty) vignette device she did in Secret Life to introduce each chapter’s action. In this book they are all derived from scenes in well-known movies – adding entertainment value by giving the reader a little cinematic trivia on which to test memory. I thought the choice of movies for some of the scenes especially clever (e.g.,the scene of Becky and Kevin wading the decks of the Titanic introduces a chapter in which the pipes burst at the new house).