Feb 18, 11
Read from February 16 to 18, 2011
** spoiler alert **
This one gets two stars only because it ended on such a feel-good, happy note. The first three-quarters of it I was so bored I could barely stand it. I had to read it for a book club and the author also wrote the book and screenplay for Fried Green Tomatoes, so I was expecting something way more interesting. The premise is that Maggie, a 60-year-old former Miss Alabama, is depressed and makes plans to "leave" via suicide. She doesn't hate her life, in fact it's a rather enviable life if you don't want a husband and kids, she's just tired of it and feels like she should leave before old age really gets her down. Problem is, things keep popping up that make her put her plans on hold, since she doesn't want to leave anything half-finished or hanging. I don't think the author really understood the main character at all. I think she thought it would be a funny plotline, but not that she felt WHY Maggie would behave as she did. Hence the disconnect. It was supposed to be funny as well, and I was able to spot the "funny" dialogue and twists, but they just weren't amusing, even the kilted skeleton. Just once did I smile at one of the jokes, and that was at the end. Here it is:
Across town, after Ethel Clipp had poured herself a nice stiff drink, she
was sitting in her living room in her purple velour pantsuit, looking out the
window and watching the pigeons walking all over her yeard. One big fat male
pigeon was all puffed up, strutting around and pestering some poor female
to death. Typical. It could have been her ex-husband, Earl. If she thought
there was any truth to the reincarnation thing, she would have gotten up
and gone out in the yard and swatted it.
There, that was it. I think the author planned the ending of the book first, then filled in the story until she could get there. At least that's how it felt. It just wasn't believable, for me, or particularly interesting. It did end beautifully, and that's worth something, but mostly I regret the lost time reading the first 7/8ths.