Book Review: Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perrotta

FletcherMrs. Fletcher is divorced and drops her only son of at college. She feels a bit lost: what’s next for her? She’s only 46, and she is ready to start all over again. She becomes interested in sex, and watches porn every night. Before she knows it, she’s kissing a female co-worker and has a teenage stalker, a boy who can only think of her.

Meanwhile, her son Brendan feels out of place at college. He tries his best, and parties hard, but he finds it difficult to fit in.

Both mother and son need to find a new path in life that suits them and that is not influenced by what they should do according to others.

The story is told mainly from Eve Fletcher’s viewpoint and from her son, Brendan. Brendan is portrayed very much as a typical student (maybe slightly cliché at times), with his own vocabulary and his focus on things that especially interest him (roommate, drink, girls, food – not his mother, much!). Eve is a decent adult with quirky interests (mainly to do with sex) and she finds it hard at times to include her new interests in her rather boring life.

The story is very engaging and I was always curious to know what would happen next. Eve’s stalker, Julian, has a plan that the sexually awoken Eve finds interesting, but the decent housewife in her finds impossible to consider.

A fun read that is entertaining until the very end. 5 stars

Publisher’s blurb:

From one of the most popular and bestselling authors of our time, a penetrating and hilarious new novel about sex, love, and identity on the frontlines of America’s culture wars.

Eve Fletcher is trying to figure out what comes next. A forty-six-year-old divorcee whose beloved only child has just left for college, Eve is struggling to adjust to her empty nest when one night her phone lights up with a text message. Sent from an anonymous number, the mysterious sender tells Eve, “U R my MILF!” Over the months that follow, that message comes to obsess Eve. While leading her all-too-placid life—serving as Executive Director of the local senior center by day and taking a community college course on Gender and Society at night—Eve can’t curtail her own interest in a porn website called MILFateria.com, which features the erotic exploits of ordinary, middle-aged women like herself. Before long, Eve’s online fixations begin to spill over into real life, revealing new romantic possibilities that threaten to upend her quiet suburban existence.

Meanwhile, miles away at the state college, Eve’s son Brendan—a jock and aspiring frat boy—discovers that his new campus isn’t nearly as welcoming to his hard-partying lifestyle as he had imagined. Only a few weeks into his freshman year, Brendan is floundering in a college environment that challenges his white-dude privilege and shames him for his outmoded, chauvinistic ideas of sex. As the New England autumn turns cold, both mother and son find themselves enmeshed in morally fraught situations that come to a head on one fateful November night.

Sharp, witty, and provocative, Mrs. Fletcher is a timeless examination of sexuality, identity, parenthood, and the big clarifying mistakes people can make when they’re no longer sure of who they are or where they belong.

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Book Review: Best Laid Plans by Kathy Lette

best.pngI read this book on holiday and it’s indeed ideal as a holiday read.

Best Laid Plans is a fun novel about a woman, Lucy, who is looking for a girlfriend for her autistic son. She becomes a known offender at the local police office after several illegal attempts at helping her son find a nice girl (including kerb-crawling). When Merlin finally finds a girlfriend (without his mother’s help), Lucy is less than thrilled as she suspects ulterior motives by the girl. She now needs to find a way to dump the girlfriend. And so the story moves on, from one somewhat (or very!) unlikely situation to the next.

I loved the fun twists in the story, but because of the improbably situations, I was always aware that this was just a story. A fun one, though. A light read that will keep you entertained. 4 stars

Publisher’s blurb:

TO DO LIST

 

The 24-Hour Read-a-thon! #readathon

april2017

It’s time to start the 24 Hour Read-a-thon! Many book bloggers and other book lovers all over the world will be reading as much as they can within 24 hours. Some will read 6 hours, some will try and read the full 24 hours.

Everyone starts at the same time, 12 GMT, which is 2 pm for me here in the Netherlands. I do need my sleep, but I will try and read for 16-18 hours. That is, I’ll be reading, checking other participants’ blog, tweet and Facebook about the event, eat dinner, breakfast, and lunch (in that order), sleep (for 6-8 hours), answer inquiries from potential clients (I run a book editing company), and go for a walk.

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This is what I’ll be reading:

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Two brand-new books: All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai and The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang. I also added a book to my TBR that I’ve been wanting to re-read for ages: The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty.

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Opening meme:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? I’m from the Netherlands. I live in a small town near Utrecht.
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? I’m looking forward to all three books! 
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? I bought some mango slices, and some cashew nuts with curry flavour. Yummy!
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I’m a sort-of ex-blogger. I blogged a lot between 2010 and 2015 but lately, I haven’t had much time. I’m running a book (yes, book!) editing business which takes a lot of time. (Check out https://www.facebook.com/BookHelpline where we’re running a contest to win a year’s subscription to writing software.)
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? I’ve participated a lot of times already. This time I hope to be more active online. The last few readathons I spent most of the time … reading! 

After 6 hours:

I’m over 200 pages into All Our Wrong Todays and enjoying it a lot. I did the Show Me the Weather mini challenge. This is what it looks like here:

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After 10 hours

I almost finished All Our Wrong Todays (356 pages read) and it’s bedtime for me. I’ll be back around hour 18 for more reading!

After 18 hours

Back at reading. I finished my first book (see above) and am now reading The World vs the Wangs by Jade Chang.

After 24 hours

I read 280 pages of my second book, The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang. I’m going to read a bit more; it’s a fun book. I read a totla of 654 pages.

End-of-readathon survey

1. Which hour was most daunting for you? Around 11 at night (hour 9)
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a reader engaged for next year? Anything that’s not too long. Don’t get bogged down in a door stopper. 
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next season? No.
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? I liked the different ways people could take part (Facebook, Twitter, blog, IG, etc.).
5. How many books did you read? I read 1.5 books.
6. What were the names of the books you read? All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai and The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang
7. Which book did you enjoy most? I liked them both. No preference.
8. Which did you enjoy least? 
9. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again?  11 on a scale from 1 to 10. I love the #readathon!

Do you participate? What are you reading?

Please leave a link to your starting post so I can easily find you.

November Update

Recently, I’ve been a bit quiet on this blog. I’m still reading quite a bit, but not blogging about it. I thought it’s time for a little update.

What I’ve been reading:

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The Sudden Disappearance of Hope by Claire North. Claire North’s protagonists all have some impossible characteristic which make the stories fantasy, while still touching on salient aspects of normal life. In this case, it’s Hope, a woman that people forget. After not having seen her for a few minutes, people don’t know that they’ve ever met her. The result is a lonely life for Hope.

Red Notice by Bill Browder. Non-fiction about the author’s adventures as an investment banker in Russia just after the collapse of the Berlin Wall. And about how things turn sour. He shows how the leading people in Russia are corrupter than ever and don’t mind a few dead bodies to cover up the worst of their actions. Not the sort of story I’m usually interested in but this was great reading!

The Mark and the Void by Paul Murray. I’ve only just started this book, but it seems good fun. About a French banker in Dublin who is being followed around by an author called Paul (!) who wants to write his story.

Last man in Tower by Aravind Adiga. I picked this book up almost exactly a year ago from a hotel book swap shelf in Paris, where I was on holiday with Suzanne. At first, the book was quirky and fun, but it lost its charm at around page 50. I read a bit more but gave up (for now) at page 90. It’s about an apartment building in Mumbai and its inhabitants (fun) and about a developer who wants to buy the building to take it down and build something more profitable (not so fun).

What I’ve been doing:

My book editing business, Book Helpline, is doing well. We’ve helped a lot of writers with their book and a few of them were published this month. We’re proud!

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The Secret Billionaire by Teymour Shahabi (YA novel)
The Black Raincoat by Brian Clarke (Short stories)
Week 42 by Emma McClane (Novel)
Behind the Glass by M. Van (Thriller)
A Bleat on a Bleak Winter’s Night by Rosie Button (children’s picture book)

And last, but not least, Book Helpline was chosen as one of the best book editors by Kindle Preneur! kindlepreneur

See you next month!

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