Penny Rushmore is sandwiched between her warring teenagers and an increasingly dotty and dependant mother, runs her own business while coping with middle age spread and the hot flushes of advancing menopause, and discovers her husband has started to stray.
Think Bridget Jones in twenty years time: Split Time is funny, wry, and occasionally poignant, as Penny tries to resolve innumerable domestic crises, keep her business going, lose several kilos in just a few weeks, and win back the love of her life.
Each day is maxed out 24/7. With split second timing, Penny juggles a barrage of emails and cellphone messages, needy clients whose needs sometimes cross the boundaries of propriety, and a family that sounds uncannily familiar to many of us. Needless to say, Penny can't keep all balls in the air forever and is heading for split-time meltdown.
Wondering whatever happened to women's emancipation, she is amazed to discover a bundle of letters written by her Suffragette great grandmother over a hundred years ago. The letters show that some things never change, the present can mirror the past, and there are vital lessons to be learned.
Penny's predicaments reflect, in some ways, author Felicity Price's own daily balancing act - running her public relations business, raising two children who inevitably turned into typical teenagers, and feeling perennially guilty that she never quite made Mother of the Year, never spent enough time with family/friends/clients or work colleagues, and never managed to lose enough weight.
Here are some of the comments reviewers made about Split Time:
The Press, April 2005: "Price's breezy style, wry humour and honest portrayal of a modern woman's lot will make this a popular choice for a reader looking for more than a formulaic chick lit."
The Dom Post, April 2005: "Chick lit meets feminism ...and the result is an appealing, readable novel with soul and a social conscience."
NZ Herald, April 2005: "The pace is lively, the dialogue peppy, the story eminently readable ... light, entertaining and satisfying."