The author is a practiced hand at warmhearted women's fiction (Host Family; Mail), and her punning title suggests she has struck a more than usually giddy note here. In fact, the humor in this tale of Lee Emery, a happily married woman of a certain age who unaccountably finds herself hankering after her first love, a wry young Englishman she met in her student days, is sometimes a little forced, and it is the moments of genuine emotion that come across more strongly. Lee has written a memoir of her glamorous grandmother Marguerite, who encouraged her fleeting London affair with Simon so long ago, and when she lets steadfast but rather boring husband Ben read it (once it's been published) and impulsively sends a copy to Simon, it churns up her whole life. The denouement is quietly touching if not entirely believable, and the portrait of Marguerite, clinging to her cherished luxuries, even as she sinks into desuetude, is skillfully composed of equal parts amusement and compassion. It's only in scenes like Lee's unhappy bookstore reading or the bestsellerdom envisaged for Ben's obsessive academic history of an obscure Maine patriarch that Medwed veers dangerously close to farce and seems in less than perfect control. A woman as bright as Lee would never settle for so threadbare a publisher for her memoir or be as excited as Medwed makes her out to be on publication day. But these are minor caveats in an enjoyable read that could provoke both smiles and tears.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Lee writes a memoir of her larger-than-life grandmother, Marguerite, and their trip through Europe when Lee was 18. Just when Marguerite's quest for the spotlight threatens to overwhelm her, Lee finds her first love in England with Simon. After her parents' unexpected death, she finds comfort with Ben, a hometown boy whom her grandmother dismisses as ordinary. Now, 25 years later, Lee is married to Ben with three grown children and content with her life in her small college town in Maine, but thoughts of Simon keep intruding. Her book gets what amounts to comical treatment from her ditzy publisher, and somehow her triumph gets lost in the greater spectacle of life. Ben encourages her, but he is working on his magnum opus about a local Revolutionary-era logger, an undertaking that overshadows her more modest volume. So Lee decides to visit Simon because, although Ben has been a great husband, she still wonders about the road not taken. This witty and diverting, even enchanting, look at middle age should make Medwed a household name. Patty Engelmann
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I read this book on the plane back from London and kept couldn't put it down even as I wove my way through US Customs. Read morePublished on July 30 2003
Readers of Medwed's earlier novels -- Mail and Host Family -- will recognize her characteristic witty wordplay and warm, ironic humor. But this is a bigger, deeper book. Read morePublished on June 17 2003
If you enjoyed Medwed's previous novels then you will love this one. If you have never read Medwed before then go out and buy this now!! Read morePublished on June 13 2003
Mameve's tale of lost love is both heartbreaking and hilarious --and absolutely terrific. No one writes the way she does! The prose dances and glints right off the page. Read morePublished on June 11 2003