I read one book by this author a couple years ago and wasn’t impressed. It was a romance involving werewolves in Alaska. Unlike that book, this one doesn’t have any paranormal creatures and doesn’t take place in any exotic locale. It’s a pure chic-lit in the middle of America. And it was wonderful, very heart-warming.
The heroine, Lacey, is a thirty-year-old stay-home housewife. By accident – a drunken florist delivers flowers to the wrong address – she learns that her husband cheats on her with his secretary. This banal incident prompts Lacey to a unique response: she sends an email about her hubby’s extra-marital activities, worded in a very sarcastic language, to all his friends, clients, and relatives, over 300 addresses of his newsletter subscribers. Then she files for divorce and escapes the fallout of her pain-induced email to a cabin in the woods. There, she meets a neighbor, a grumpy crime writer, Monroe. You all can guess, to a degree, what happens next.
The above story recap seems like a thousand other similar stories, but the writing and the characters, especially the protagonist, make it fresh and imaginative. Lacey is struggling to come to terms with her husband’s infidelity. Was there anything she could’ve done differently? Did he ever love her at all? Did she ever love him?
Every woman in her situation asks herself the same or similar questions, but there are as many answers as there are people. And everyone deals with her disintegrating life in her own way. Some channel their hurt into religion. Others into bitterness. Lacey, a journalist by education, even though she's never worked, writes a snarky horror novel while falling in love with her new neighbor.
The writing is good, masterfully weaving together serious and funny. Lacey’s dry sense of humor makes her dialogs priceless, while the juxtaposition of witty and sad turns the story poignant.
Through all the plot twists, some expected, others not, runs one strong theme: self-realization. All her life until now, Lacey tried to please others: her husband, his friends, her parents, his parents. It was all about compromise. Now, for the first time in her life, she doesn’t want to please anyone, doesn’t want to compromise. She gets the second chance in life and she wants to figure out who she is. Tired of people telling her what she should fix in herself to please them, she can’t hear anyone pointing her mistakes anymore.
Not the best attitude for the beginning of a new relationship, and of course, her new relationship doesn’t end in the happily-ever-after. It doesn’t end at all. By the last page of the book, her new relationship begins. She knows who she is now, or at least where to look to find herself. She hopes to build a beautiful relationship with Monroe, and so do the readers.
A lovely and original book.