Review: "Petal Pusher" by Laurie Lindeen

Review by Melissa Cornwell

Here’s the blurb for Petal Pusher:
In the years between the meteoric launch of Madonna and Courtney Love, Petal Pusher takes readers on a thrilling journey across rock-and-roll—from the bighaired 1980s to the grungefilled 1990s—when Laurie Lindeen brought her all-girl band Zuzu’s Petals to compete in the indie rock arena.

Minneapolis in the eighties was a musical hotbed, the land of 10,000 lakes and 10,000 bands that gave birth to Prince, the Replacements, and Soul Asylum. For Laurie Lindeen it was the perfect place to launch her rock-and-roll dream. She moved to the city with best friends Phyll (“Annie Oakley meets Patsy Cline”) and Coleen (“former cheerleader gone off the arty deep end”) to crash in decrepit apartments and coax punk rock from crappy used guitars. But unbeknownst to her friends, Laurie was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a disability that fuels her passion to make it big on the local, national, and international rock scene. With inspiring determination, Laurie and her Zuzu’s Petals survive the many challenges of being underdogs in a man’s world. Laurie is thrown a curveball when she falls for Paul Westerberg of Replacements fame and reevaluates what it means to “make it big.”

Always engaging, at turns hilarious and heartrending, Petal Pusher is an insightful behind-the-scenes look at music on the frontlines, and the aweinspiring tale of one woman’s triumphant fight against disease and the disillusionment of life in the rock underground.

This novel was a delight to read. It has all the components of a good fairy tale with a twist of real life. I think that all artists, in all sorts of professions, can relate to the struggles in this novel. The feeling of wanting to accomplish something in your life is something that everyone can relate to, but the feeling of wanting your work to be heard or published or viewed is something that the artist wants. Laurie Lindeen does a really good job of hooking the audience, and keeping it hooked. As soon as I was done reading the book, I had to look up Zuzu Petals on Youtube. It is a great story about overcoming obstacles, and knowing what you want to do in life. Then, life can throw some curves your way. I wish that I could have had some of the experiences that she went through. In addition, no fairy tale is complete without a little love and excitement in the personal life, and Laurie does not disappoint in that area. The romance spread throughout the novel is one of the best, which is that of meeting that special someone and developing a deeper relationship as time passes. The novel definitely touches chords in everyone, and I think that it is a novel that everyone must read, especially those in the arts. I also think it is a great novel for younger generations to read. I am part of an entirely different generation than the ones mentioned in the book, and it was interesting for me to read some of these events that happened in her life. It makes me want to go out and have some different experiences for myself. Petal Pusher is a fantastic novel to read!