The plot doesn’t ring true, but not in a distracting way.
It starts the way much good chick lit does, with a cheating husband. Instead of diving deep into depths of character and making the mistress sympathetic or the husband nobly conflicted, Harper sweeps them under the rug and all but pins Cheating Asshole and Dimwitted Secretary Mistress nametags to their T-shirts.
That leaves her hands untied to follow Lacey as she retreats to a family cabin by the lake. No waffling over what to do. No tearful confrontations. Just a journalistic hit-and-run.
The reason she flees? The town’s abuzz after reading her husband’s company newsletter that Lacey authors, which – when recipients read colorful descriptions of Mike’s philandering – quickly goes viral.
She holes up in the cabin alone, reflecting on the havoc she’s wreaked and the marriage she doesn’t miss. Through her bright, funny inner dialogue, we learn about her life to the present. Her gay brother is on hand for guerilla makeovers (which, as I’ve said before, instantly brands a book as movie-ready) and second opinions. She befriends the exceedingly capable lawyer helping her with the defamation suit her husband filed against her.
We meet Monroe, a brooding neighbor who’s attractive and ripe to be the rebound guy. It’s all there for her taking, with few of the nagging obligations of real life.
The real charm of this book, I think, is Lacey’s life-as-I-see-it analysis of events. It doesn’t borrow from Sex and the City like so many books do. She’s straight-forward and funny. Though the plot isn’t believable, Lacey’s spin on life’s little details are unusually put and most often spot-on.
For a lead female who’s little sugar and lots of spice, choose a spicy wine like MAN Vintners Pinotage. The bargain South African wine (about $10) has distinct notes of cinnamon in its berry-filled bouquet.