The week in review- Saturday Evening Post edition

Wednesday was the last day of school which means it’s officially summer. So far the weather has not cooperated at all, but I still find myself so much more relaxed with them out of school. I never would have predicted that the school year would be the hard part of this stay at home mom business, but I also wouldn’t have thought my kids would stay in bed until 10 when school’s out. Three months of lazy mornings!

The Home For Unwanted Girls needed an edit and a polish. It’s a perfectly good story, but it drags on quite a bit. A lot of the plot hangs on the relationship between Maggie and Gabriel, and that never came to life for me. Elodie’s story got more interesting as things went on but it didn’t save it. Kind of a miss for me.

The Perfect Mother is getting a lot of buzz, some of it deserved. The characters are pretty great, and there is a lot of insightful writing about the identity struggles new mothers go through. The missing baby plot certainly keeps you in suspense, but it is pretty silly, filled with holes, and falls apart in the end. Lots of bad thriller cliches in the third act. I would love to see this rewritten with the same characters, but a normal plot. And lose the weird subplot about Winnie’s teen acting career that went nowhere, and also change that baby’s name because why was he named Midas? Anyway this is a very mixed bag but could be a fun vacation read I guess.

Tin Man was like a nice palate cleanser after two disappointments. This is a bit slight, but so lovely. I loved how the relationship between the three main characters was both complicated and so pure. This was incredibly touching and I felt like I really knew every character. No wonder everyone is loving this book right now.

Next I fell head over heels for Young Jane Young. Man, did I love this book! It could not be more timely, as it’s essentially about a smaller scale Monica Lewinsky type of scandal. This time it’s a congressman instead of the president, and the scandal hits shortly before 9/11, so it’s not as big a story, and doesn’t stay in the news for long. This is split into five sections; my favorites were the first one, which focuses on Jane/Aviva’s mother who is awesome, and the last one, which is Aviva’s story told in the style of a choose your own adventure book. I am blown away by how moving that last section got. It seemed like a cutesy little gimmick at first but then it just hit so hard. I didn’t love the third section but I don’t really care, because this was so good. And I’m never going to use the term ‘old wives tale’ again because as awesome Rachel points out, it’s just saying, “don’t listen to the old lady.” WORD.

That was definitely my high of the week. I’m currently trudging through Other People’s Houses, and it’s ok-ish, but I want it to be so much better. You know I love modern domestic dramas, and this has so many elements that I usually eat right up. But the writing is pretty weak; this author is not nearly as funny as she thinks she is. Sometimes I am jealous of people who are easily amused, because those people would be laughing their asses off at the lame jokes and asides in this book. I do want to see what happens, and I do enjoy the omniscient storytelling, but I’m annoyed how much it focuses on Frances because she is my least favorite character. I have 70 pages left, let’s see if this comes together at all. Fingers crossed!