“Keep Me Posted” by Lisa Beazley sprinkles into the novel parenting, marriage, sibling relationships and how they are affected in this digital age. Not only has the Internet changed how business is conducted, but with the advent of social media and instant sharing people’s personal lives have been turned upside down.
Beazley stated this debut novel was based on “some ideas I had about relationships and how much social media can take over a person’s life. Because I moved to Singapore for my husband’s work I felt far away from my close friends and family members. I went on Facebook but did not feel connected, and thought of it more like a cocktail party type of conversation. Social media feeds us with these little bursts, but does not make us fulfilled. I decided to use these themes in a fictional story. I know many people who have used Facebook, Twitter, or even with emails and have had something they say misconstrued.”
The plot explores how two sisters, living far apart can reunite with that same bond they had as teenagers. Because Sid lives in Singapore, and Cassie in New York the distances between them are literal and metaphorical. Although the book starts slowly, by the last half the story becomes very intriguing. Wanting to re-establish their close relationship the sisters use the lost art of letter writing, especially since Sid spurns all social media. The snail mail becomes a kind of mutual confessional that have real and soul-satisfying effects. The two sisters divulge their private thoughts and feelings to each other, growing closer throughout this letter exchange. Unfortunately the letters go viral after Cassie scans all of them on a supposed private blog. Because of a glitch the private blog became public. This is where the story becomes both interesting and relatable as Cassie struggles to make things right with all of her family members.
The relationship between sisters is very important to Beazley. She noted, “I have two sisters and a brother and are close to all. Books with sibling themes are usually negative and are about jealousy and rivalry. For me, one of the most pure relationships you can have in your life is with an adult sibling who can be counted upon. When the book came out my sisters and I were gung ho on writing actual letters to each other, but it lasted for only two letters. We lost patience for the snail mail very quickly. Although I do love the whole world of stationary and receiving a letter that is not a bill or junk mail.”
One of the most interesting aspects of the book was the author’s exploration of a working mother turned stay at home housewife, with two young twin toddlers. She is struggling and looking for something more in life, having the feeling of losing her own self-worth. For many women in that position, Cassie is a character easy to relate with. She loves her children and husband, but also misses the person she was before becoming a mom, now feeling bored and unchallenged.
Personally, Beazley can relate to her character Cassie who felt that once she stopped working she lost her identity. “I know it is a really big adjustment to have two toddlers at home and not have anything else to do. Think of the timing. You finally become stabilized in your career and have left home and then boom you have a child. Everything changes and you are back to square one. I think Cassie discovered she could regain her identity by changing and growing given her specific circumstances.”
“Keep Me Posted” is a book women can appreciate as it delves into the relationship between the sisters, the lost art of letter-writing, the anecdotes of raising children in NYC, the funny family dynamics, and the identity shifts mothers undergo. Anyone wanting to go back in time and revitalize the close family relationships will enjoy this novel.