Book Review: Better Luck Next Time

*Thank you to HarperLuxe for an advanced reader copy of Better Luck Next Time*

I hesitate to call “Better Luck Next Time” historical fiction, but it is certainly a slice of history that was unfamiliar to me. Nevada passed a law in 1931 that allowed for “quickie divorces” for its residents–not long after the law passed “Divorce Ranches” started popping up. Women (well mostly women) would stay at the ranch for 6 weeks to establish residency and finalize their divorces. If you have a few minutes, check out this NPR piece.

This book is primarily set on a divorce ranch outside of Reno, the divorce capitol of the world, in 1938 and is told from the perspective of one of the cowboys, Ward. He had no idea what he was getting himself into when he met Nina and Emily. For a book featuring women who are all seeking divorces, its surprisingly light hearted, but it also serves as a reminder of how impactful someone can be in your life even if they aren’t in it for long.

“Better Luck Next Time” hits the shelves on January 25th, 2021.

Book Review: Did I Say You Could Go

*Thank you to Simon and Schuster for the advanced reader copy of “Did I Say You Could Go”*

Humans thrive on community–no one wants to be alone. As someone from the midwest where family is abundant and people are friendly, it is hard for me to imagine two women as seemingly isolated as Gemma and Ruth. Motherhood can be trying even if you have a supportive partner, we all need friends to lean on. But what if your closest friend was also your clearest enemy? Enter Ruth and Gemma.

Ruth and her daughter Marley are alone in the word until they meet Gemma and her daughter Bee. Ruth’s money and Gemma’s warmth meld them into a family, a family that Ruth tries to hold unto with a death grip, but she slips up. Gemma and Bee pull away until Bee and Marley are starting high school, and Ruth finds her way back into Gemma’s good graces. Now–she just needs to do everything possible to stay there–to show Gemma that she needs her.

Prepare for some abrupt twists and turns. This book starts as a light read but ends on a dark note and will leave you wondering who the master manipulator really is while ardently hoping that both Bree and Marley are able to move forward with their lives leaving past traumas behind them.

This book is set to release August 3, 2021.

Book Review: The Sun Also Rises

I first read a Hemingway book as a teenager, and I distinctly remember having to look up “cognac” because I had never heard of it before. I finished the book (It was either “For Whom the Bell Tolls” or
“A Farewell to Arms”) but wasn’t especially moved or impacted by it. Maybe I was too young because I thoroughly appreciated “The Sun Also Rises.”

“Appreciate” is a specific word–and I use it because I am not exactly sure that I enjoyed it. I found it to be painfully raw. It all felt a little too real–like a heightened version of a weekend trip with friends that has gone very poorly, and in fact it was very real. Check out this article if the “realness” of the story interests you.

Hemingway’s writing felt refreshingly straightforward, and I was impressed by all that he was able to convey without the flowery extras. Sometimes a book leaves you yearning for more, but this book left me grateful not to share in the hangovers or emotional strife. I am still trying to decide if Hemingway’s foray into writing from literal experience feels brave or cheap, and I suppose it ultimately doesn’t matter what I think.