Agatha Arch's life shatters when she discovers her husband in their backyard shed, in flagrante delicto, giving the local dog walker some heavy petting. Suddenly, Agatha finds herself face to face with everything that frightens her...and that's a loooooong list.
Agatha keeps those she loves close. Everyone else she keeps as far away as possible. So she's a mystery to nearly everyone in her New England town. To her husband, she's a saucy no-B.S. writer. To her Facebook Moms group, she's a provocateur. To her neighbor, she's a standoffish pain in the butt. To her sons, she's chocolate pudding with marshmallows. And to her shrink, she's a bundle of nerves on the brink of a cataclysmic implosion.
Defying her abundant assortment of anxieties, Agatha dons her spy pants - a pair of khakis whose many pockets she crams with binoculars, fishing line, scissors, flashlight, a Leatherman Super Tool 300 EOD, candy, and other espionage essentials - and sets out to spy on her husband and the dog walker.
Along the way, she finds another intriguing target to follow: a mysterious young woman who's panhandling on the busiest street in town.
It's all a bit much for timorous Agatha. But with the help of her Bear Grylls bobblehead, a trio of goats, and a dog named Balderdash, she may just find the courage to build a better life.
Title: Agatha Arch is afraid of everything
Author: Kristin Bair
Publisher: Dreamscape Media
Publication date: November 10, 2020
I must confess I kept postponing listening to this audiobook after reading a review that said the main character was completely annoying and she got boring pretty quickly. I have one thing to say to that reviewer: you're wrong! Kidding (not).
Is Agatha Arch annoying? Yes. Is she unhinged? Yes. Is she quirky? Yes. Is she a little bit cruel? Yes. Is she over the top? Absolutely. But she is also funny, loving and caring with those she loves, and that's what made her such an interesting character.
After finding her husband cheating on her with the dog walker, on their shed (how he dares!), she not only loses her husband but her mind (a little bit). This is not a plot drive story, but a character one. We follow Agatha as she tries to deal with her new life at the same time she does with all her fears. And they're quite a few! Hello fava beans!
I did laugh out loud several times but I felt bad I did cause, hilarious as she was, at the end it was clear she wasn't well. Behind all her weirdness she was just a woman asking for some help in overcoming her fears. I was glad to witness her growth and how she got the strength needed to cope with them while realizing not everyone was out to get her, making possible some new friendships.
I found the writing style very refreshing. Her no-nonsense approach while talking to people, the funny nicknames (GDOG and Kumbaya Queen are ones I need to apply in my daily life from now on), the Mom's Facebook Group chats... I guess some people could find all these things irritating, but I thought they were fantastic!
Special mention to the amazing job done by Soneela Nankani, the audiobook's narrator, that brought Agatha to life (irritating some times, lovable others) and all the different characters in a very distinctive way, making this a very enjoyable listen.