July 29, 2010

Review of "And One Last Thing" by Molly Harper

Summary: If Singletree’s only florist didn’t deliver her posies half-drunk, I might still be married to that floor-licking, scum-sucking, receptionist-nailing hack-accountant, Mike Terwilliger."

Lacey Terwilliger’s shock and humiliation over her husband’s philandering prompt her to add some bonus material to Mike’s company newsletter: stunning Technicolor descriptions of the special brand of "administrative support" his receptionist gives him. The detailed mass e-mail to Mike’s family, friends, and clients blows up in her face, and before one can say "instant urban legend," Lacey has become the pariah of her small Kentucky town, a media punch line, and the defendant in Mike’s defamation lawsuit.

Her seemingly perfect life up in flames, Lacey retreats to her family’s lakeside cabin, only to encounter an aggravating neighbor named Monroe. A hunky crime novelist with a low tolerance for drama, Monroe is not thrilled about a newly divorced woman moving in next door. But with time, beer, and a screen door to the nose, a cautious friendship develops into something infinitely more satisfying.

Lacey has to make a decision about her long-term living arrangements, though. Should she take a job writing caustic divorce newsletters for paying clients, or move on with her own life, pursuing more literary aspirations? Can she find happiness with a man who tells her what he thinks and not what she wants to hear? And will she ever be able to resist saying one . . . last . . . thing?  (from the book's back cover)

What can I say about this book other than I thought it was fan(insert word of choice)ing-tastic? I loved every minute of it and although I was rushing for the conclusion, I was sad to see it end.

The general premise was excellent - - haven’t we all fantasized about a special kind of payback for those who have done us wrong? Lacey’s decision to share her husband Mike’s shortcomings via the Internet was inspired and laugh out loud funny.

And this was why I was so fond of Lacey, I think. She was a strong, determined woman (but with some obvious weaknesses) who, at the end of the day, could be you or me. She was hurt, she was angry, she acted rashly (but again, it was humorous) and while she dreamt of physically hurting her husband, or at the very least, burning his possessions, she didn’t actually follow through with it. I felt sympathy for her and I hurt for this character, even knowing that she was better off without her cad of a husband.

I also thoroughly took pleasure in the characters of Emmett, Lacey’s antique shop owner brother who is fond of cutting her hair while she sleeps, as well as providing her with slasher flicks to cheer her up, and Maya, an entrepreneur who wants to go into business with Lacey, writing biting and sarcastic divorce newsletters and greeting cards for every occasion, aptly titled “Season’s Gratings”. In fact, I got such a kick out of Maya, she would be a fun and apt character to center a book around. Just in case author Molly Harper is reading this . . .

While I eventually liked the character of Monroe, it did take me a bit to warm up to him and I was happy to see that he wasn’t the stereotypical “sexy man next door” written just to provide Lacey with an outlet and a reason to get back on her feet. Monroe’s family was a hoot and their scenes were too brief in their hilarity.

This was my first book by Molly Harper, although I had heard of her Nice Girls Don’t series. I loved her writing style evidenced in And One Last Thing. Light, breezy and yet emotion packed, reading Lacey’s narrative was akin to having a heart to heart with a girlfriend. I sped through this book and it left me wanting more. Revisiting Lacey, should Ms. Harper ever want to write a sequel of sorts, would be a delight.

I am thrilled I was able to read and review this book. I will absolutely, positively be looking for Ms. Harper’s books in the future to put in my reading rotation if And One Last Thing is an example of her writing style and wonderfully detailed characters. I would not hesitate to recommend this book to any and all. Be prepared to stay up late to follow Lacey and ready yourself for some serious belly laughs.

And One Last Thing is newly available for purchase at major booksellers, including Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

For further information on author Molly Harper, please visit her website here.

Review copy of this book provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. In no way did the provision of the book affect the outcome of my review.



Cindy said...

I heard of this book earlier this week and it looks like something I might really enjoy! Great review :)

Tales of Whimsy said...

Sounds fun! Cut her hair while she sleeps? Interesting!

Senator said...

Ooo, fantastic review! Yet another to be put on my "to be read" pile!

Marce said...

I had a look around your blog and love it, found you from the book hop. We have similar interest, Mary Higgins Clark and Joe Hill caught my eye from your side bar.

My post for the Hop.