A Scattered Life Book Review

A Scattered Life is the story of three women whose lives revolve around their children, but in very different ways. Skyla, the protagonist, disliked her own childhood, which began to falter after her mother died of a brain aneurism when she was very young and her father had trouble keeping a job and carted her from one home to another all over the country. Wanting something else entirely for a child of her own, Skyla marries Thomas (who so dislikes change that he can’t even stand the disposal of old dishtowels!) and she hopes that his stability will be good for Nora, the little girl that they subsequently have. Skyla’s new neighbor Roxanne, who has five “obnoxious, dirty boys just like their father” (which is a a quote from their father, Ted, himself!) had always wanted to have at least a dozen children and is happy and fulfilled with being a mother 24 hours a day. Audrey, Thomas’s mother, is surprised at having no occupation at all when two of her boys finally leave home and the other spends all of his time with his father, because until then she’d felt that motherhood was her most important obligation.

A Scattered Life is about ordinary, often mundane lives that are significant only because they have meaning to their respective owners. When Nora goes to kindergarden Skyla yearns for a job and falls into one that becomes a strange adventure, something that Roxanne would never want to do and something that Audrey regards with disapproval. Skya’s job helps her remember her former art school days and to redefine herself once more.

Skyla and Thomas are otherwise (besides their love and attraction towards each other) different as night and day. Skyla’s earliest memory of Thomas is “linked to the smell of beer and the taste of blood” as he rescued her from a bartending accident, but she never envisioned, because of him, a life of endless routine.

A Scattered Life BookThe life tragedy of one of these women and the interactions between all three of them, cast together by fate, is the strength of A Scattered Life. Easy to read and visualize and filled with the kinds of observations and details that women appreciate, women will see portraits of parts of themselves and older women they’ve encountered within these pages. Our daily lives are indeed important, even if they seem common, and we don’t honor them enough, regretting that they’re gone only later, as Skyla, Roxanne and Audrey find out. A warm and inviting novel, I highly recommend it!

After failing at traditional publishing attempts, Karen McQuestion self-published four books of hers on Kindle that became very popular and A Scattered Life is the first Kindle book that has been optioned for a film!

A Scattered Life, a novel by Karen McQuestion, published by AmazonEncore and on sale August 10, 2010, 266 pages.


by Christina Zawadiwsky

Christina Zawadiwsky is Ukrainian-American, born in New York City, has a degree in Fine Arts, and is a poet, artist, journalist and TV producer. She has received a National Endowment for the Arts Award, two Wisconsin Arts Boards Awards, a Co-Ordinating Council of Literary Magazines Writers Award, and an Art Futures Award, among other honors. She was the originator and producer of Where The Waters Meet, a local TV series created to facilitate the voices of artists of all genres in the media, for which she won two national and twenty local awards, including a Commitment to Community Television Award. She is also a contributing editor to the annual Pushcart Prize Anthology, the recipient of an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Wisconsin Library Association, and has published four books of poetry. She currently reviews movies for www.movieroomreviews.com, music for www.musicroomreviews.com, and books for www.bookroomreviews.com.


  1. What a lovely, thoughtful review! Yours is one of the first reviews of the paperback edition, and I was happy to read that you enjoyed it and recommend it. Thank you. 🙂

  2. Christina says:

    I’m honored that you liked the review, Karen, and I really did enjoy it! An author of poetry and fiction myself, I know that people aren’t always articulate about their responses to writing, so that it’s gratifying when they are. Kudos to you and your hard work, and very well-deserved too!

  3. hmm did my comment go through? hopefully it did! 🙂

  4. I read this one but I wasn’t too keen on it. It was well written of couse but I like a little more adventure in my books and this book sort of reminded me of The Hours

  5. I agree that our ordinary lives mean a lot. The people who write theirs down, in autobiography or
    fiction or literary non-fiction, get to live on forever in libraries.

  6. This really seems like a good “women’s” read!

  7. Even though society would have us believe otherwise, there are so many different ways in which to live. Some people are social and some aren’t. Some believe motherhood is the most important thing while others think a career is more important, or just as important. This review shows a blend of various types, which is much more true to life than other versions.

  8. This book seems to turn the mundane life of three women into something special. And they are special in their own way. I wonder what might happen if all women decided to write autobiographies. Or if men chose to do the same thing. Literary anarchy might abound! Good review though.

  9. This looks like an ‘easy’ read- one you take along when you want to read light and you want something easy to follow. I think books like this are needed- too many times the plots are so involved we have to reread, this looks like you dont. Great review!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: