“The Queen Gene” is the sequel to the laugh-till-you-cry novel “Tales from the Crib.” Reading Jennifer Coburn’s books are a workout – your abs will be so sore from laughing you can skip pilates for the morning.
If you haven’t read “Tales from the Crib,” check out our review here and read that first. Fair warning – if you keep reading this review it’ll ruin the ending of “Tales from the Crib.” Read that first, then immediately get the sequel. You won’t be disappointed.
In “The Queen Gene” we catch up with Lucy, her loving husband Jack, their sweet little baby Adam, and – that’s right – Anjoli, Lucy’s more-than-eccentric mother who we love to hate, love to love, and can’t stop thinking about. This time she has a side-kick. Her new pooch Paz (later to be named and re-named as psychics and healers teach Anjoli about Paz’s “true” name) lives in her handbag, and frequently calls Lucy – probably just stepping on the phone, possibly calling for help.
Lucy and Jack also finally have the artist colony they’ve dreamt of their whole lives, but the reality is a bit hazier than the dream. From glass shattering every day to steamy affairs – all viewable from Lucy’s back window – the artist colony produces less art and more drama.
This all sounds admittedly ridiculous, but that’s the fun of Jennifer Coburn’s novels. The worlds are so outlandish they’re
believable. Her mother is every mother, her husband is every husband – just magnified into a caricature that’s impossible to turn away from.
If you can pull yourself away from reading long enough to pour a glass of wine, pair this novel with a wine as addictive as this book: 2008 Snap Dragon California Cabernet Sauvignon. The first sip of this flavorful red made my eyes pop. The fruity, oaky California wine matches the explosive life of Lucy’s art colony and extravagant decadence of Anjoli. Make sure the bottle is right next to you – you’ll want more wine and more “The Queen Gene” simultaneously.