Lily Steps Out is a middle-age, coming-of-age story of a suburban housewife who is sick of making beds and fixing breakfast and decides to step out of the comfortable domestic life she knows into the business world, much to the mocking disbelief of her loving husband, Leon, now retired, and their grown son, both perfectly content with The Way Things Are.
Not only does Lily love her work in an antique store, but when she decides to branch out further and turn an old frame house into an antique center—she’ll sublet the rooms to different vendors to cut down on her costs—a good business strategy, she thinks, especially since she never thought she had a head for business. But when she tells Leon her game plan, not only does he pooh-pooh the idea, but by the time she gets to their joint savings account to withdraw the lease money, Leon has cleaned it out. “This is trust?” she asks herself. “This is marriage? No! This is war!”
With a little help from her friends, Lily steps out of the tired old habit of always letting Leon have his way. And, while she’s at it, she breaks the mold of Lily Gold. This time she turns the status quo into quid pro quo and gives Leon a run for the money. Lily’s journey is the journey of every woman who wants love, respect and personal fulfillment.
Rita, how did you come up with the title for your book? Does it have any special meaning?
I wanted the title to have a lively feel because the book has such a feel. And the title also embraces Lily’s stepping out of her protective domestic life into the world of business world. There’s also the celebratory aspect of stepping out. Think: “Steppin’ Out with My Baby.”
Who was your favorite character and why?
Lily is my favorite character because she makes a big change in her life at the age of fifty five, and she doesn’t do it lightly. Her decision could mean the end of her marriage and yet it could be a new beginning for her and Leon. It’s a risk she believes she must take.
Does your book have any underlying theme, message, or moral?
The main message is that a person can make changes in her or his life at any age, but that change can come with its own set of problems. Nothing worth anything is easy. Also there’s the underlying theme of family life that is recurrent in all of my writing.
What would/could a reader or reviewer say about this book that shows they “get” you as an author?
They could say (and they have said) that I don’t paint things in black and white. That my characters are real and they try to solve real everyday problems. That I care about marriage and family, yet not to the extent that I would sacrifice my own identity to it.
Give us an excerpted quote from your favorite review of this book:
“Ms. Plush’s handy way with dialogue and details marks the lively tale of one Lily Gold and her transformation from homemaker to entrepreneur.”
Where can people learn more about your writing?