Debbie Viggiano comes to the blog today with a contemporary woman’s fiction title with a middle-aged heroine at the end of her rope in
Lucy’s Last Straw
Married over twenty years and now an empty-nester with her rescue dog, randy neighbor and husband who commutes to London to work, Lucy is finally feeling like life is settling: the kids are grown and don’t need constant management, she’s got more time to work on her small seamstress business, and perhaps there is time to just relax. Until her husband begins pushing for a ‘downsize’ as he’s worried about redundancy at work, and the cottage he’s chosen is little more than a project from the ground up. Aside from not wanting to move, Lucy’s finding that everything (and everyone) is looking to her to fix the messes – even when her husband says he’ll be there, he’s not, or he gets distracted, tied up or otherwise becomes ‘unavailable’ to help out. In fact, cleaning the toothpaste from the bathroom sink becomes her own little metaphor for the ills of her life and marriage, and it’s not being helped with her age (nearing 50), her hormones (the neighbor has suggested HRT) or her husband’s unusual attachment to the real estate agent and his ‘builder”.
Lucy is acerbic, self-deprecating and wholly honest in her own interior voice, and as a narrator she’s pretty wonderful. From those little annoyances that happen in a relationship of long standing, to the complete crossed wires in communicating when you hear your partner, but don’t really listen to the words. More importantly, Lucy and Leo are supremely well paired despite neither believes they have been heard or their needs met. And when the cottage becomes a reality, and Lucy finds the builder has her reverting to her fifteen year old self, things heat up a bit, with her regular (and very harmless) fantasies and imaginings. Everything comes to a head with Leo actually finding a new jo that requires he trains in the US for a month – the same month as the construction crew is set to work on their new cottage, with Lucy in residence. With her dog. Oh – and soon, one of her daughters who discovered her boyfriend was unfaithful, soon followed by the other daughter with her partner and all their stuff as they lost the lease on their place. From two neighbors with hot pants, a fairly regular dose of Lucy behaving inappropriately and further fueling gossip and speculation, a whole lot of laughs and a moment of clear communication – things do work out for the best – to everyone’s satisfaction. Clever, honest and fun, this is a story that feels very real while reading, as you simultaneously nod your head in recognition or shake in that “thank the gods I’ve not seen / done / dealt with that” moments – it’s a fun read.
Title: Lucy's Last Straw
Author: Debbie Viggiano
Genre: British, Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Humor elements, Setting: Britain, Small Town
Published by: Bookouture
Published on: 15 July, 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google
It was the toothpaste smeared around the sink that broke my marriage. As I rubbed it away AGAIN, I was reminded of everything else I’ve put up with these twenty-five years. My husband’s obsession with his pension, his ability to charm me into every single one of his ideas, never being taken on a romantic date, let alone ravished on the patio (like the woman who lives next door)… small things, but the realisation was huge.
Just when Lucy Jones thinks her marriage is about to screech to a halt over toothpaste, her husband, Leo, announces he wants to move to tumbledown (clapped-out) Rose Cottage, and Lucy knows she’ll be the one managing the renovations.
Then along comes gorgeous builder Will, ten years younger and the only person actually listening to Lucy. His twinkly eyes and blowtorch smile are causing Lucy to break out in a hot sweat – but is it love, lust or simply dodgy hormones that are causing her heart to flutter?
Lucy loves her husband, but everyone knows that little things build up. And then they explode. Can Lucy keep it together, or will there be one last straw she might not be able to get over?
A laugh-out-loud romp with an ending that will make you gasp! Perfect for fans of Tracy Bloom, Sophie Kinsella and Dawn French.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: