Tart Paperback – Jul 1 2005
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Just as her first novel, Summer in the Land of Skin (2004), did, Gehrman's second offering features a heroine on the move. Claudia Bloom has stolen her ex-boyfriend's VW bus to take her from Texas to California, where a job as a theater instructor at UC Santa Cruz awaits her. But the VW doesn't survive the trip; it explodes just after Claudia jumps out with her cat. She is rescued by handsome Clay Parker, and it isn't long before -commitment-phobe Claudia is falling for him. But an obstacle immediately presents itself in the form of Clay's not-yet-ex-wife, Monica, who is also an instructor at UC Santa Cruz. Claudia tries to ignore her growing feelings for Clay as she focuses on her job and its challenges, including obnoxious students, Monica's wrath, and the demanding department head, who just happens to be Clay's mother. Gehrman's enjoyable novel is as sharp and observant as the title suggests. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
After a disastrous walk on the mild side, suffering a broken engagement and a broken heart (dumped by her fiancé for The Younger Woman), Claudia packs up her life in Texas and takes off to a new life as a theatre arts college professor in California. She re-connects with her past and her dysfunctional, New Age family, while re-committing to "tart-dom," her philosophy of having fun and enjoying meaningless sex, swearing off men, marriage and monogamy:
"How can anyone believe in marriage in the twenty-first century? Didn't we all listen to our parents bicker while we turned up the volume on Hawaii Five-O? Didn't we learn the fairy tale was dead when we found half our parental unit shoving their socks and underwear into a suitcase while the other half spit out vile insults?"
Of course, her tart philosophy is put to the test almost immediately, when she meets the ruggedly sexy, undeniable Clay Parker--her white knight on a motorcycle, who rescues her when her stolen van breaks down and explodes on the side of the road in the first chapter...and the fun begins.
Somewhat predictable, yes, but still enjoyable. Author Jody Gehrman has included some out of the ordinary twists and turns to keep things lively.
Sherri Caldwell, co-author: "The Rebel Housewife Rules: To Heck With Domestic Bliss!"
This is a great read and another unique addition to the RDI series.
Gehrman is a funny and talented writer. While the book is not exactly literature, it is very entertaining, and she brings humanity to her characters that will resonate with readers. Her writing is crisp and her dialogue is spot on. Claudia is a flawed and real character. I just hate when authors resort to lack of communication and assumptions to move a story along. But overall, I really enjoyed the story and it helped me endure a long flight.
© Tracy Vest, December 2008