Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Grannie Panties are Under Rated by Gayle Erickson
Chick Lit/ Women’s Fiction
Date Published: June 6, 2017
Elle Martin has it all.
Handsome and successful husband. Check.
Daughter and son attending exclusive private high school. Check.
Privilege, status, and wealth. Check, check, check.
But there is more to Elle’s story.
Already struggling to keep up appearances in a social set full of pretension and ultra-competitiveness, Elle’s façade of perfection is threatened when her husband makes an announcement that will force her to confront a dark past she has successfully hidden for years.
What will happen when long-buried secrets are unearthed and haunting new revelations are discovered? Will Elle find the happy ending she so desperately seeks?
Toggling between the early nineties and the present day, Grannie Panties Are UnderRated captures the Gen X experience from latchkey kid to helicopter parent with keen insight and precision. A page turner full of surprising twists, it is a must read for anyone who has struggled to reconcile the chasm between the person they once were, the person they have become, and the person they long to be.
May 11, 1994
Thank God Tak had a normal toilet. If not for her boyfriend’s obsession with all things American, Elle’s face would now be lying in a pool of her own vomit.
Having lived in Tokyo for nearly two years, Elle was accustomed to traditional Japanese-style toilets which didn’t have seats and meant users were in for some serious squatting. She was actually a big fan of this system—it seemed much more sanitary (there was no danger of accidentally touching someone else’s ass germs), and Elle liked to think she was getting in a good thigh workout every time she used the bathroom. But at this moment, as she desperately hung on to the toilet seat to maintain her balance while heaving out thick, sallow bile, Elle was eternally grateful for the good ol’ solid American porcelain bowl.
Elle felt like shit. She was in a cold sweat from the sheer physical exertion of throwing up bile, she had a throbbing headache, a severe case of dry mouth, and her left cheek stung—she must have hit it against the toilet seat while puking. Worst of all, a relentless tingling sensation on her upper lip signaled a cold sore was on its way.
Fuck! Fuckity, fuck, fuck, fuck!
And what was that smell? It was sour and warm—the unfortunate result of a combination of undigested sushi and stomach acid. Wanting to remove herself from the source of the nasty odor, Elle gingerly sat up and turned away from the toilet, her back resting against its base. She needed water—her tongue was like an enormous cotton ball in her mouth—but she was too nauseous to stand up and go to the sink.
Completing the utter clusterfuck of her present situation, Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box” was reverberating up through the vents from Tak’s nightclub, Samantha’s, which was directly below the bathroom. Kurt Cobain’s howls of despair were like fingernails against a chalkboard—each screech thumped in concert with the throbbing ache in her temples.
Was the club still open? What time was it, and how long had she been in the bathroom? Elle looked around. Daylight peeked through the small window above the toilet. It was definitely morning, probably around ten-thirty, the time Samantha’s cleaning staff came in to erase any traces of the previous evening’s debauchery. They must be vacuuming, which would explain the blaring music.
If she hadn’t been so preoccupied with her hangover, Elle would have realized hearing Nirvana was a bad sign. Kurt Cobain had just killed himself in April, so there was that, and as sad and tragic as his death was, she didn’t really get the appeal of angsty grunge bands anyway. The music was hard to dance to, and greasy-haired guys dressed like lumberjacks didn’t do it for her. Eighties music ruled. Sting, Jon Bon Jovi, and Bruce Springsteen—now those were men worth throwing your panties on stage for.
Irritated, Elle tried to drown out all the noise and focus on how she had ended up in this predicament. What, exactly, had happened the night before?
Think, Elle. Think.
Elle couldn’t remember anything. Her brain was scrambled, like the egg splattered in the frying pan on the TV commercial from high school. “This is your brain on drugs.”
Oh right, drugs . . . there had been the cocaine. That would explain why Elle felt so shitty now—she could drink so much more when she was high. She shouldn’t have used again; she had promised her best friend, Mitch, that she was done with all of that. Disgusted by her lack of self-control and ashamed of all the lies, Elle put her head down in her hands and covered her face in shame.
What the fuck is wrong with me?
This wasn’t a rookie mistake. It’s not like she was a freshman waking up in her dorm bathroom after a night of over-drinking at a frat house kegger. She was a twenty-four-year-old college graduate. She had woken up strung out by coke with her face in a toilet. She was better than this.
Praise for Grannie Panties Are Under Rated
"...a highly entertaining and thought provoking book!"
"Gayle Erickson is brilliantly gifted in telling this engaging, sometimes disturbing, yet compulsively addicting story of a woman in crisis due to the bonds of the guilt-filled lens of her past"
"It is visually rich and culturally expansive,"
"You will fall in love with each of these honest, imperfect characters and identify with their struggles, demons, and challenges. Exposing the raw truths we often try to mask..."
"Loved this book, could not put it down"
"A great retrospective of how we come to be who we are and where we are, often without intention or a road map. Like "Grannie's" characters, we all find moments of clarity or awareness, which give rise to change. All this and an accompanying playlist! A song for every chapter...what brilliant context!
Spotify Playlist by Author to compliment the Novel:
About the Author
Gayle Erickson is a Colorado native and graduate of The Colorado College. She lived in Tokyo, Japan and taught English for several years after graduation. Upon her return to the United States she worked in the non-profit sector. Gayle currently lives in suburban Denver with her husband, twin teen-age children, and two dogs. Grannie Panties Are Underrated is her debut novel.