The Answer Is Yes by Sara Lewis
Jenny Brown’s husband Todd has accepted a new research/professor position at a university in San Diego. They move from Massachusetts to Southern California. She gets a job processing loans at a bank, what she did before their move. Todd is immersed in his new job. Jenny feels they are growing apart. When she loses her job to downsizing, she feels lost.
She accidentally finds the Institute of Affirmation. This is a small community adult school where classes can be anything from “Make a Wish” to “Drawing Blindfolded” to “Kamper Kitchen: RV Recipes”. She stops at the old school building for a drink of water. Jenny finds herself in an acting class. The Institute’s director, Michael, has the belief that people need to be told they can do something rather than that they can’t. At the second class meeting, the instructor is up in Hollywood for a job. Michael temporarily takes over for the evening. By the end of the class Sara is the “contact person” for a small play they decide to present. When the play is actually presented, she has become the de facto director.
Todd is rarely home. His friends are all scientists. Jenny attends the occasional party with him, but is lost among his students and colleagues. He is encouraging her to return to work, but she doesn’t want to return to the type of work she was doing. She doesn’t know what she wants. She even considers leaving Todd. She needs to find some direction. Perhaps the Institute of Affirmation will provide one.
The Answer is Yes is a quiet book that appeals to the reader. Sara Lewis doesn’t try any sensationalism. Instead she tells the story in Jenny’s first person narrative, keeping the emotions quiet although tangled as Jenny gets through this new stage of life. It’s easy to read and gives confirmation to the ups and downs of life as Jenny grows. The reader follows her through and applauds the outcome. I liked this book and appreciated its quiet, optimistic tone.