Thursday, September 15, 2022

Book Review: "One's Company" by Ashley Hutson

One's Company is dark, quirky, and unique.

After a series of tragedies and traumas, Bonnie lives a fairly solitary existence, and she’s fine with that. She has all 174 episodes of the classic 1970s sitcom Three’s Company to, well, keep her company.

One day she wins the lottery, the biggest payout in U.S. history. She’s decided how to spend her earnings: she wants to move somewhere private, somewhere she can literally build the set from Three’s Company and create the world outside the apartment, where most of the show takes place.

She moves to an isolated compound atop a mountain and brings her obsession to life, recreating the set in painstaking detail. And then she plans to settle into her fantasy. But as she retreats from the world completely, her estranged best friend, Krystal, is determined to keep her from slipping away.

This was a tremendously unique story in many ways, but at its core it is a reflection on trauma and how we process (or fail to process) it. It’s a fascinating and sad look at how something we enjoy can become an obsession and how easy it is to avoid our problems and get lost in our obsessions.

I grew up in the 1970s and 1980s, so Three’s Company was definitely a show I watched frequently. But even if you’ve never heard of the show, Ashley Hutson gives you enough details to understand what it was about.

This is a thought-provoking book you’ll want to discuss with others. I felt at times Bonnie was an unreliable narrator, which is a trope I cannot stand, and that took me out of the story a bit. But I couldn’t help but be immersed in the sadness and uniqueness of this story.

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