Women on the Edge of a Nervous Breakthrough

Vivian Harcourt, aka Lorelei Taylor, is getting a second chance at life. Recently acquitted of murdering her famous yet imperfect boyfriend, she escapes to her hometown, Kettle, Wisconsin, nearly penniless but not broken.

Nothing bad ever happens in Kettle- it's their town motto, written in twinkle lights in the memory of every town member. Certainly not domestic abuse, murder, or gossip. Vivian is having a hard time fitting in her new/old town. The good townspeople are not entirely sure they want an almost convict living in their midst. Especially not Sarah Gilchrist, a "perfect" wife and mother who struggles to be nothing, if not polite to her new neighbor or Mike, the newly widowed hot handyman who isn't sure what he wants to do with the out-of control Vivian. All of the sudden Kettle isn't quite as perfect as it appears to be.

Maybe if I hadn't read the superb masterpieces of Cathy Lamb, I would enjoy this book better. No one and I mean one writes a good breakdown better than Cathy Lamb. See Julia's Chocolates and here for a review of The Last Time I was Me.
Occasionally I find myself over-using certain words- like trite and cliched and completely predictable. I HATE THESE WORDS. I especially hate these words when I have to apply them to something I'm reading. I don't just read for fun- reading isn't fun, it's life. It's magic and hope and drama and excitement and escape and understanding. I don't want to merely like the characters I read about, I want to love them. Love them not because they're perfect but for the follies and imperfections. Whew! I know- who knew it was all of that. A good author is like a weaver- each strand, each word is woven tightly into a beautiful cloth. However if the author is less than skilled the cloth unwinds becomes sloppy and useless. No one wants useless cloth.

There really is nothing wrong with this book- I'm just left with the feeling Isabel could have done better. It's still worth reading, light-hearted, fun, I give it two and half Hershey bars out of five. Vivian is the best part of the entire book- I like her, really like her.




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