Ellen Kenny has a big mouth and a penchant for telling the truth, which is why she’s just been fired from yet another high-profile NYC job. Determined to make the most of this unexpected free time, she heads to Montreal to visit her sister. On the way, she spots a tumbledown upstate farmhouse---one she’s seen in her dreams for years---and impulsively buys it on a hefty credit card advance. Over her husband’s protests, Ellen decides to drop out of the rat race and spend the summer living out her woman-who-runs-with-the wolves fantasy, communing with nature---her own included---in an effort to confront middle age and figure out how on earth she got there. Rather than peacefully tend her garden and puzzle things out, however, Ellen soon becomes embroiled in the exceedingly unique problems of two redneck, social misfit neighbors---an ex-biker and an aging chainsaw sculptor---while taking care of a narcoleptic dog and a child who doesn’t speak English.
With Ellen’s quest for meaning and her concern for the welfare of others driving the plot, Anybody Any Minute is deeply layered, heartbreaking . . . and hilarious.
Praise for Anybody Any Minute
"Mars effectively navigates through the usual minefields of midlife regrets with her colorful and sympathetic characters. Funny and illuminating, this is a totally satisfying read." --Library Journal (starred review)
"In this charming coming-of-middle-age novel from Mars, a neurotic New Yorker loses her job and possibly her marriage when she buys a rundown country house...Whether she’s fretting about her weight or worrying if she is correctly quoting Kahlil Gibran, this ’60s survivor is a hoot." --Kirkus Reviews
"Julie Mars, a fast rising author, has hit the mark in her higgedy- piggledy account of Ellen Kenny's summertime, cleansing "nervous breakthrough" in Anybody Any Minute...I haven't read such a fun and engaging book in ages. I found myself turning the pages like crazy to keep up with Ellen's madcap misadventures...Julie Mars has a knack for making the inane seem totally believable. I loved Julie's previous, more serious book, A Month of Sundays, but was totally drawn into this one. Once again I found my dreams in the work of the very talented Julie Mars. I've passed my mid-life crises (I think), but for a moment I really wanted to check my credit card limit and head toward Cornwall. The reader can't lose with this one!" -- Roundtable Reviews
"Anybody and Minute is deep without being onerous, a beautifully told tale of how lives that may appear on the surface to be falling apart are actually falling into place." --Chronogram Magazine
"...a warm and funny exploration of middle age and its inherent questioning of life and roles and possibilities...a singular, thoughtful, and poignant work that looks at crossroads, choices, and new definitions of responsibility. Julie Mars is to be commended for her fresh approach to midlife questioning and for the absolutely delightful cast of characters she has chosen to tell her tale. I loved this book! I laughed. I smiled. I wondered. Anybody Any Minute reveals the heart of human connectedness. Brava!" --Myshelf.com
"Part madcap picaresque, part nostalgic meditation, Anybody Any Minute takes on the regrets and readjustments of middle age, and delivers them up with Julie Mars’s trademark humor and gutsy style.”-
--Jennifer Egan, author of The Keep, The Invisible Circus, and Look at Me
“Readers will be thoroughly disarmed by Mars’s charming cast of characters, including heroine Ellen, who brings to mind Lucille Ball. I highly recommend this entertaining yet thought-provoking novel.”
---Martha O’Connor, author of The Bitch Posse
“Anybody Any Minute offers a sweet and funny meditation on the challenges of ‘doing good and being in love’ in modern America. Julie Mars and her main character, Ellen Kenny, remind us that sometimes we need to let go of the illusion of control in our lives in order to listen to the deeper wisdom of our dreams.”
---Gayle Brandeis, author of Self Storage and The Book of Dead Birds