Swimsuit season has arrived!
Before you go running and screaming from the dressing room, remember that it’s not as bad as you think.
Dressing room lighting stinks, cellulite looks better poolside or on the beach, and between some Lycra and a little strategic padding (your own natural or a little help from Foamy McRubber) you’ll look better than you think. So relax and have fun already.
Besides, if you allow yourself to leave the house wearing a bathing suit, there is a big reward: Beach Reads. Woo hoo!
(We all know it’s not as fun to read while hiding in the house like an aspirin in a bottle, so get out there, Girlfriend!)
Kristan Higgins is back with another hilarious offering in women’s fiction.
Title is linked to Amazon and there are no spoilers ahead:
Plucky heroine, Nora Stuart, has come a long way, baby.
Despite her fun but bizarre father taking off never to be seen again; despite her little sister joining a clique of bullies who torment Nora; despite growing up with a stern mother who can kill a deer, skin it and fry it up in a pan, but who won’t show any affection for her daughters; and despite leaving her home on a small Maine island as a high school senior and never returning… Nora has evolved.
She’s gone from introvert to extrovert. She’s gone from geek-outcast to successful gastroenterologist practicing at a hospital in Boston. She’s gone from a fat blob to one somewhat-hot chick.
But when she runs an errand to pick up pizza for her ER doctor boyfriend and some of her other co-workers, Nora goes from hottie to road kill when she’s hit by a vehicle.
Rushed to the ER, Nora is barely conscious while her doctor boyfriend stands nearby hitting on another doctor. The bastard.
What’s an injured woman to do?
Venture back home to lick her wounds for the summer. Figuratively, of course. It’s just a leave of absence. Of course, the jury is still out on reconciling with Dr. Dirty McFlirty–they had been living together. If she makes the break permanent, where will she go?
The little Maine island where Nora was raised hasn’t changed much. Scupper Island is as quaint as they come and Higgins has an ear for infusing its dialect into the dialogue.
Higgins also has a knack for creating the kind of small town we all wish we lived in. Quirky locals, a good friend or two, the alpha bad boy and his charming beta male brother, problematic family members, and a couple of folks with butt-ass ugly hearts.
Add to the cast a lovable dog (a staple in any Higgins novel) and you’ve got all the makings of a chick-a-licious read.
This novel has something for everyone. Plus it’s just funny as all get out. I have to admit, I loved Nora’s medical specialty. It lent itself to some really funny scenes. Of course, I have the toilet-humor of a fourteen-year-old boy, but hey, not everyone can be as lucky as me, eh? If toilet humor isn’t your thing, pick up a different Higgins book, and leave this one for those of us who aren’t constipated.
Besides, Higgins doesn’t strike me as being terribly worried about offending readers.
- One, she uses the f-bomb frequently;
- Two, she’s peppered this book with blasphemy (using God’s name in vain);
- Three, there’s a dark scene (attempted rape/murder) that usually doesn’t appear in chick lit;
- Four, she frequently Tweets her opinions on politics (which I could do without).
Of these four, however, the blasphemy bothers this reader the most. This is exactly what I used to tell my high school students as well–I can deal with f-bombs so long as you’re not telling me or anyone else to go F ourselves–but I draw the line at blasphemy. I just didn’t think it was needed for character development here.
Or do Mainers blaspheme more than other residents of the lower 48?
Whatever… if you want a fun read with a dark center and you can deal with language, then put this on your beach reading list. It won’t disappoint.
And neither will Nora Stuart. You’ll find yourself cheering this woman on as she finds her way back home and back to herself in this long and winding read.
Foxy Rating Guide: Four out of Five Foxes
Happy Reading and Happy Summer!
Susan J. Anderson
Foxy Writer Chick