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Time Off for Good Behavior [Paperback]

Lani Diane Rich


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Book Description

Oct. 1 2004
This effervescent debut novel will strike a chord with every woman who has ever been tempted to give her life an extrme makeover.--Wendy Markham, author of "Slightly Single."

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (Oct. 1 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446693065
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446693066
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,069,064 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Booklist

There is no shortage of bad luck in Wanda Lane's life. She loses her advertising sales job while she is in the hospital recuperating from a head injury. Her abusive and drunken ex-husband has been leaving threatening messages, and she can't get a phantom tune out of her head. Yet she is not exactly a sympathetic character. A litany of bad breaks has left her spiteful and complaining. Even so, Wanda manages to attract the attention of a handsome, widowed lawyer who only wants to protect her, but before she lets herself fall in love, she needs to get her life in order. A bizarre want ad lands her a new friend (and unofficial therapist), and with her help, Wanda decides to do something meaningful. Readers will warm to Wanda as she mends broken relationships, finds a fulfilling job, and learns to open her heart. First-time author Rich has managed to skillfully blend serious topics with humor, and readers will love her for it. Aleksandra Kostovski
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

"Terrific and absolutely hilarious...with a thoroughly original and delightful heroine."

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The court date fell on the Friday of what had been a very bad week for me as an account executive at Hastings Channel 8. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  109 reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'd Like To Go Out Drinking With Wanda and Walter! Oct. 4 2004
By Rose McC. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What I liked most about Time Off For Good Behavior was how it was decidedly NOT a cliche, and that's not always true of "chick lit" books. Wanda swears like a sailor throughout, and while she grows in the novel, she doesn't really change her core personality. Instead, she finds herself again (or, rather, remembers who she is deep down, before she so disappointed her parents and herself by making some bad choices and acquiring the baggage that resulted.)

I so enjoyed how she forbid herself from seeing Walter before she'd worked through some difficult issues. She knew he'd accept her as she was, but she had to make some hard changes first. She may have thought of herself as weak, but I found her to be a strong character throughout.

Overall, a very fun read. I should have counted the number of times I laughed out loud. I know for sure I read with a grin on my face because my husband kept asking, "What is so funny?" as I read it. The hot pink cover caught my eye in the bookstore, and I'm glad it did!
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a TERRIFIC book!! Sept. 21 2004
By Robin L - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I can't remember the last time I've gobbled up a book in one sitting like this. Both hilarious and touching, Lani Diane Rich knows how to mine the human experience for true gems of humor and poignancy. Wanda, the main character, is flawed and wonderfully human. She has a feisty spirit and a side-splitting sense of humor that had me rooting for her from page one. Rich has done a terrific job in creating a character whose humor is an integral part of her self-preservation skills, rather than just someone who's handy with a quick comeback. After a series of bad luck and missteps, Wanda's held-together-with-duct-tape reality cracks wide open and we quickly see just how well her sense of humor serves her as she tries to start her life over.

Wanda's journey of self-discovery rings refreshingly true and genuine and illuminates the teeth-gnashing frustrations that life hands us, as well as the moments of grace we somehow manage to stumble into.

Definitely an exciting new voice in women's fiction!
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great voyage of self-discovery June 20 2006
By Tracy Vest - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Wanda Lane has had a string of bad luck. She is divorced from an abusive husband who thankfully lives in Alaska, but finds plenty of time to call to profess his love or his hatred for her. She loses the job she hates when she falls down after striking an annoying lawyer and ends up in a coma for several days, resulting in phantom music playing at the most inopportune times. And now she finds herself attracted to successful civil lawyer Walter Briggs.

But in order to "earn" Walter's love, Wanda feels that she must improve herself. Wanda is not exactly a model of decency. She drinks. A lot. And she curses like a sailor. She does not think before she opens her mouth, and she tends to be self-centered. One could argue she's in need of therapy, which she gets from a local Catholic priest who doles out advice though she's not a member of his flock ("Bless me father for I am not Catholic). With the help of a new friend she found in a want-ad, she decides to create a series of post-it notes, and as she has completed the task, she tosses them out. The most important one - the one she cannot figure out what it means - is "do something meaningful."

As she tries to find herself, perfect widower Walter patiently waits for her to have an epiphany. It is hard to fathom a man as articulate and together as Walter falling for the train wreck that is Wanda, so there was a real disconnect in the romance for this reader. But her voyage of self-discovery peppered with some of the wittiest dialogue and interesting secondary characters to grace a page make this a worthwhile read. This is Rich's first novel and her subsequent novels prove what a gifted storyteller she is.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's OK Aug. 31 2012
By Karen B. Jung - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"Time off for good behavior" is definitely different, I give it that.
It starts out like your typical romance novel, down-on-her-luck heroine meets handsome hero.
But Wanda is just too passive for me, never standing up for herself, just running to the next savior. When she's threatened by her ex husband, she never thinks about getting a gun to protect herself or anything, she just takes shelter somewhere else. She's just too much of a damsel in distress for me, depending on virtual strangers to take her in.
She's got a mouth on her, that's for sure, just no actions to follow it up with.
And then there's the missing romance...not that I like my protagonists to be going at it like rabbits, but a little sex is OK. I like more than "We did it 3 times" as a description.
Overall, I was disappointed because the story starts out very interesting. Unfortunately it then loses steam and limps along, with a kind of 12-step program for the protagonist that didn't make much sense to me.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't finish it July 7 2012
By Claire - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I love Lani Diane Rich's books usually, but I strongly recommend a pass on this one. The heroine is annoying and --worse in my view -- becomes boring after a bit. She is so self-centered and self-absorbed that I was wishing Walter would just give up on her and find someone better. I also found his attraction to her unbelievable. I finally put it down half way through, totally disinterested in the fate of these two. In fact, the only thing that kept me reading to the half-way point was the great dialogue of the secondary characters. Ms. Rich has written some terrific books since this one; stick to those and give this one a miss!

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