Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Starting Out Sideways

Starting Out Sideways

Mary E. Mitchell

Thomas Dunne Books




Roseanna Plow is perfectly content with her nice, simple life on Long Island, despite the fact that she's being driven slowly insane by her meddling mother, who resembles Donna Reed on drugs. Rosie is very happy with her handsome husband and a fulfilling career as job counselor for the developmentally challenged. It might not be glamorous work, but Rosie is proud of the fact that she cares more about people than Prada. What more could a woman want in life? Except maybe being able to wear a sexy thong that doesn't make her behind look like a rump roast in butcher string…

But when Rosie's incredible husband turns out to be an incredible putz—sleeping with her best friend Inga—her life goes from Seventh Heaven to Jerry Springer in the blink of an eye and the tip of a wine glass. Alone and deceived, but with her sense of humor still intact, Rosie turns to her wonderfully wacky mother to help her bounce back. Of course, Ma's recipe for mental recovery leaves much to be desired. And after Rosie discovers a painful family secret, hidden behind years of lies, she must set out to find herself and what really matters in life.

Along the way, Rosie is surprised to find help from Mickey Hamilton, a.k.a. Ham, who is kind, generous, and has a great butt to match. If only Rosie can overlook the fact that he's nicknamed after the meat section at the local supermarket he manages. Milton, one of Rosie's endearing mentally challenged clients--and Ham's employee--also becomes a source of comfort along the way, always ready to defend "Miss Plow's" honor and warm her heart, even as it's breaking. And can a twenty-five-year-old punk office assistant with hair like candy corn really become Rosie's new best friend? As she moves along the twisted road to self-discovery, Rosie finds happiness, acceptance, and even love – though none of it in the places she'd expected.

With laugh-out-loud scenes seamlessly interspersed among gut-wrenching moments of heartache, Starting Out Sideways is a unique and utterly delightful novel that will make you laugh, cry, and remember what's truly important in life.


Starting Out Sideways

who's a putz?
my name is Roseanna Plow, and I came down the birth canal sideways. All my life, this is the way my mother has introduced me to strangers. She's never described...


Praise for Starting Out Sideways

“New England PEN Discovery Award-winner Mitchell writes prose that hums with vibrant characters, zippy dialogue and a poignant humor.” —Publishers Weekly

“We live in hard times. That's one reason why a feel-good book like Mary E. Mitchell's delightful Starting Out Sideways is so valuable. But there are many more reasons to love this book: the characters, who, utterly endearing or deliciously fun to hate, are so fully fleshed out you'll feel you ought to offer them a chair. The full-of-surprises story that keeps you rapidly turning pages. The humor that makes you laugh out loud--literally--balanced by a well-earned poignancy. The writing is fluid and natural and smart. Most importantly, there is a humanity exhumed in this book that makes you feel proud and hopeful about being a human on planet Earth. These days, that's a rare and wonderful thing.” —Elizabeth Berg, New York Times bestselling author of The Year of Pleasures

Starting Out Sideways simply sparkles! Mary Mitchell's debut novel is a fabulous story of joy and heartache, laughter and love.” —Claire Cook, author of Must Love Dogs

“Heartbreaking, redeeming, and beautifully written.” —Kim Gruenenfelder, author of A Total Waste of Makeup

“Hilarious and heart-wrenching, Starting Out Sideways is a superb debut from a fresh and funny new voice in contemporary fiction. Mary E. Mitchell has crafted a story whose vivid characters jump from the page and hang out in your subconscious for will root for Roseanna Plow with every fiber of your being.” —Tracy McArdle, author of Confessions of a Nervous Shiksa and Real Women Eat Beef

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Mary E. Mitchell

MARY E. MITCHELL is a writer of fiction, non-fiction and an essayist. She has published her work in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, First for Women, and Family Circle. She is a recipient of the New England PEN Discovery award. She lives with her husband in West Newton, Massachusetts.

Mary E. Mitchell

Alan Pearlman

From the Publisher

Thomas Dunne Books

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