Shawna's Reviews > Nothing but a Smile

Nothing but a Smile by Steve Amick
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Dec 13, 2009

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Read in December, 2009

From the review I read in People magazine I guess I was expecting something just a little bit racier from this novel. I thought the story was overlong, and the frame (opening with an older woman who is clearly Sal packing up her house to go live in an old folks home because of the onset of forgetfulness) zapped all the power from the end of the story. I wonder if it is possible to write a book about "the greatest generation" that doesn't paint every last one of them as open-minded, warm, and fun-loving people. (So where were all the racists and bigots hiding, where are the folks whose miscalculations got us into Korea and Vietnam?) The last straw for me was the lawyer that Sal and Wink befriend who helps them with their legal scrapes, even after a botched night in the bedroom that ends with Sal laughing at the size of his johnson, the lawyer still is willing to help Sal and her hubby for nothing. These people are saints!

I was also slightly irritated by the way the author kept name dropping Michigan cities and people into the book. After the third time I was rolling my eyes. I get it, the author is from Michigan, good for him! Apparently Sal and Wink have cause to bump into every famous Michiganite up there.

Sal and Wink are married for about the last 100 pages of the book. At that point the tension is truly busted, and I was ready to see the story end.
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