The outside of the package does not always reveal the maelstrom of storms revealed within. We will not always see the real person behind the façade; we can only find the real person by their actions.
In One Voice Too Many by Paul Martin Midden, we follow the life of Jeremy Walker, an average citizen who works as a carpenter. He makes the money he needs to get by and for the most part enjoys what he does. He has been married, and had even found the love of his life in Annie. When she is killed in an accident, Jeremy believes his life will stop. It takes time for him to heal, and all the time he does not truly believe that will happen. And yet it does. In an unintentional accident at his work place, he meets a woman named Macy, and finds himself at once attracted to her. She has a teen daughter, which initially concerns him, but they seem to get along just great.
Working though the difficulties that seem to lie between two people becoming a family, Jeremy finds he is in love with Macy. He also has great affection for her daughter. As their relationship progresses, he finds himself out of his element when it comes to her family, but even that seems to come together, especially after he and Macy become married.
Initially everything is wonderful, but Jeremy begins to feel strange, and his mind makes disturbing jumps. His thoughts are unsettling, and he begins to pull away from the family he has built. Losing interest in the things that brought them together, the thoughts just do not stop, he feels the urge to move on his thoughts and feelings, and begins to think he needs help. He alternates between concern and excitement, and decides he is not ready to worry yet. Can they make it as a family? Will Jeremy succeed in keeping his new family together?
Midden has written characters both real and interesting. The interaction of differences and the family dynamics are well told and quite believable. Jeremy is a bit introverted, and you find yourself rooting for him to find the love he so obviously needs. Midden’s concept of his mental character, though, keeps you worried. Can he pull himself thorough and have the life he needs?
Macy and Taylor, her daughter, have a good life as well. They are close and have the average relationship of a mother raising a girl to become a woman. They have love and laughter, closeness and arguments, the regular life we often see. Macy is divorced and ready to move on as well. Part of her choice will depend on how any new man in her life reacts with Taylor. To her is it paramount, and the primary decision maker or breaker. So it is with a heart of gladness, when Taylor and Jeremy become close. Yet Taylor is the first to sense the danger. She struggles with her feeling from her heart intercepting the feelings from her head.
I would recommend this book for those who enjoy interesting characters, and how life often changes the inner character of a person. There is a bit of creepiness and hope. You are drawn to the characters, and their insecurities make them more human. This would be a great book for a reading or discussion group. It deals with many of the social issues of the day and how stress can affect even the most sturdy of souls.