Ann Redding has taken every lousy thing life has thrown at her and handled it very well, thank you very much. All she wants is to get her life back on track...but that won't happen till she makes her worried family and friends back off by spending two weeks at Camp Kinsonu, a retreat for suddenly single women. Now she's stuck sitting around a campfire, singing I Am Woman with a bunch of sandal-clad, makeup-boycotting women. If she doesn't get out of there soon, they'll be sizing her for Birkenstocks. Kinsonu, an idyllic retreat on the coast of Maine, is supposed to be a place for new hope and new beginnings. But Ann doesn't belong in an estrogen Eden, she belongs in a corporate boardroom. Still, the camp has its compensations-she's grudgingly befriended some other inmates, including Cindy, who honestly believes she's just killing time till her serial-cheating husband comes crawling back. And Martha, shy, overweight, and mysteriously silent about the man she's there to get over.
Sharpe continues her theme of women coming to terms with emotionally crippling relationships in her affirming latest (after Women on the Edge of a Nervous Breakthrough), about three very different women who buddy up at a retreat for "suddenly single" women. Gratingly chipper Cindy Matterson has managed to forgive her cheating husband's endless affairs, but now he's dumping her for good. Meanwhile, Ann Redding, newly widowed, freshly fired and desperately broke, is mad as hell at her husband for killing himself after wiping out their bank account, while frumpy, plump and meditative Martha Danvers puts an unusual spin on "mistress" by fantasizing that she's the secret lover of a high-profile politician who is in a coma. Each woman has clearly reached a low point in her life when the invitations arrive from Betsy Spalding, who runs the retreat. Cindy, Ann and Martha mix like oil and water, but they pull together in time for a laugh-out-loud ending. Sharpe delivers a cheeky overcoming-adversity narrative that's laced with wisdom and humor. (July) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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June 23, 2008
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