Tuesday, June 30, 2015

All the Single Ladies by Dorothea Benton Frank

What They Say.....The perennial New York Times bestselling author returns with an emotionally resonant novel that illuminates the power of friendship in women’s lives, and is filled with her trademark wit, poignant and timely themes, sassy, flesh-and-blood characters, and the steamy Southern atmosphere and beauty of her beloved Carolina Lowcountry.

Few writers capture the complexities, pain, and joy of relationships—between friends, family members, husbands and wives, or lovers—as beloved New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank. In this charming, evocative, soul-touching novel, she once again takes us deep into the heart of the magical Lowcountry where three amazing middle-aged women are bonded by another amazing woman’s death.

Through their shared loss they forge a deep friendship, asking critical questions. Who was their friend and what did her life mean? Are they living the lives they imagined for themselves? Will they ever be able to afford to retire? How will they maximize their happiness? Security? Health? And ultimately, their own legacies?

A plan is conceived and unfurls with each turn of the tide during one sweltering summer on the Isle of Palms. Without ever fully realizing how close they were to the edge, they finally triumph amid laughter and maybe even newfound love.

What I Say....Hmmmm......what to say.  I love chick lit and I love books set in the South. I have enjoyed Dorothea Benton Frank's books before.  But I didn't enjoy this one much.  I didn't hate it, and it had a lot of potential with the story of the stolen property of a dead woman, but ultimately it felt like that storyline got dropped, and just picked up for a quickie resolution at the end.

I'm all about chick lit and true love endings, however, this book titled, "All the Single Ladies", seemed to be intent on pairing the single ladies off very quickly.  The main character, Lisa begins dating Paul - who was originally introduced as having been a love interest of her patient, Kathy, in the nursing home, who died.  Not really sure she met the age requirements, but okay.

There seems to be a build up on why Paul and Kathy (dead patient) broke up, but then it never leads to a remarkable explanation.

So much of the dialogue was cringe worthy for me. "I felt a powerful twitch south of the Mason-Dixie Line in my personal Lowcountry.".  "And apparently, he got my motor going.  This was a curious developing story in the long-dormant Department of Moufky Poufky.  I think you know what I'm talking about.".  Umm, actually, I don't.  What the hell is Moufky Poufky?

The resolution to Kathy's stolen belongings is the arrival of her long lost ex-husband, who owns a huge chain of grocery stores.  This upright, wealthy businessman storms over to the evil landlady's house with 6 complete strangers to demand her belongings back (we suddenly find there is a letter opener worth 7 million dollars that he gave her just in case she ever needed money), and instead of calling the police to meet them there, they start banging on the door, yelling at her, and force their way in, even after she yells that she has a gun.  Hot mess.

The storyline of her daughter who is in the travel marijuana business (legal in Colorado), the ex-husband who is starring on some type of Duck Dynasty show, and the friend who has married 4 men named John, who have all died suddenly.  They were all interesting asides, but I would have liked to see the book explore the changing attitudes towards marijuana and it's business, instead of acting like her daughter was employed manning a gas chamber.  

Honestly, though, this book has a Goodreads score of 3.73, so I could just be overthinking it.  I just don't like when grown women can't discuss sex like a grown up.  I really don't want to hear about your sex life period, but I especially don't want to hear about your Moufky Poufky.  


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