A Story of Love, Heartbreak, and Everything in Between #Friday Fun Reads

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Better Luck Next Time: A Novel

by Julia Claiborne Johnson

Copyright 2021

 

What Amazon Says

 

“Do you want to read something funny? Let’s say, a novel set at a divorce ranch in Reno in the 1930s? A book with memorably eccentric characters, sparkling dialogue, a satisfying plot twist, and some romance and sex?  A feel-good literary comedy/western? Here it is, then, the book you’ve been looking for: Julia Claiborne Johnson’s Better Luck Next Time.”—Julie Schumacher, author of Dear Committee Members and The Shakespeare Requirement

The eagerly anticipated second novel from the bestselling author of Be Frank with Me, a charming story of endings, new beginnings, and the complexities and complications of friendship and love, set in late 1930s Reno.

It’s 1938 and women seeking a quick, no-questions split from their husbands head to the “divorce capital of the world,” Reno, Nevada. There’s one catch: they have to wait six-weeks to become “residents.” Many of these wealthy, soon-to-be divorcees flock to the Flying Leap, a dude ranch that caters to their every need.

Twenty-four-year-old Ward spent one year at Yale before his family lost everything in the Great Depression; now he’s earning an honest living as a ranch hand at the Flying Leap. Admired for his dashing good looks—“Cary Grant in cowboy boots”—Ward thinks he’s got the Flying Leap’s clients all figured out. But two new guests are about to upend everything he thinks he knows: Nina, a St Louis heiress and amateur pilot back for her third divorce, and Emily, whose bravest moment in life was leaving her cheating husband back in San Francisco and driving herself to Reno.

A novel about divorce, marriage, and everything that comes in between (money, class, ambition, and opportunity), Better Luck Next Time is a hilarious yet poignant examination of the ways friendship can save us, love can destroy us, and the family we create can be stronger than the family we come from.

 

My Thoughts

 

I like how the author tells the story from Ward’s first-person point of view. It’s as if you’re visiting him fifty years later, and he’s telling you his story. Some of it is funny, and some of it isn’t. This book offers a variety of life lessons on not just marriage and divorce. The ending will surprise and move you.

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By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Image contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

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Love Conquers All #Friday Fun Reads

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Joy in the Morning, A Novel

by Betty Smith

 

What Amazon Says

 

From Betty Smith, author of the beloved American classic, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, comes an unsentimental yet radiant and powerfully uplifting tale of young love and marriage.

In 1927, in Brooklyn, New York, Carl Brown and Annie McGairy meet and fall in love. Though only eighteen, Annie travels alone halfway across the country to the Midwestern university where Carl is studying law—and there, they marry.

But Carl and Annie’s first year together is much more difficult than they anticipated as they find themselves in a faraway place with little money and few friends. With hardship and poverty weighing heavily upon them, they come to realize that their greatest sources of strength, loyalty, and love will help them make it through.

A moving and unforgettable story, Joy in the Morning is “a glad affirmation that love can accomplish the impossible.” (Chicago Tribune)

 

My Thoughts

 

I disagree with the above about the book being unsentimental. Many emotions, including joy when Annie discovers she’s pregnant to anger and frustration when money is tight and worries about the future run rampant. I admire the couple’s resilience in the face of the adversity life throws them during their first year of marriage. This book shows us that if two people love each other, they can face anything together and come out stronger.

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By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

Books

My Amazon Author Page

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Website

 

 

Service and Devotion #It’s Six-Sentence Story Thursday Link-up

For six years, I was compelled to serve my late husband Bill, not because we were living in the Dark Ages, where that was all women did, but because Bill was partially paralyzed by two strokes and could do little for himself. I brought him food and drink, situated him at his computer so he could check email and download books onto his portable reader, transferred him from wheelchair to recliner where he enjoyed those books or a ball game, took him outside in favorable weather, lifted him onto the toilet when he needed to go, and tucked him into bed each night. I also gave him plenty of love, and he served it to me in return. I don’t regret those six years of service and devotion as a caregiver. Despite the unpleasant tasks I had to perform, those were happy years for me. I think Bill was also content. 

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You can read more of our story in My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds. Thanks to Girlie on the Edge for inspiring the above with her six-sentence story prompt for this week. If you’d like to participate in her blog hop, click here.

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By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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One’s on the Way #Musical Monday

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

I first heard Sissy Spacek sing this song in the summer of 1981 on the soundtrack for the movie, Coal Miner’s Daughter. At the time, like the woman in the song, I was in Topeka, Kansas, at a rehabilitation center for the blind, and I wasn’t much happier than the poor housewife, distracted by three kids, one on the way, and a husband who calls from a bar and says he’s bringing a few old Army buddies home.

According to Wikipedia, “One’s on the Way,” written by Shel Silverstein and popularized by Loretta Lynn, was recorded and released in 1971 and was the title track on her album by the same name. The housewife in the song compares her hectic lifestyle to that of such stars as Elizabeth Taylor, Debbie Reynolds, and Raquel Welch. This and other songs by Loretta Lynn including “The Pill” and “Don’t Come Home A’ Drinkin’ with Lovin’ on Your Mind” helped her become the spokesperson for women who married too soon, became pregnant too often, and felt trapped by the drudgery of their lives. To learn more about this song, click here.

Now, here’s Loretta Lynn singing “One’s on the Way.” I like her voice better than that of Sissy Spacek, and I hope you do, too. Enjoy!

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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A Writer’s Destiny #Essay, #Writing

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

In January of 2005, I received a letter that changed my life. Being visually impaired, I was in a long-distance relationship with a totally blind man I’d met two years earlier through Newsreel, an audio magazine where blind and visually impaired people can share ideas, music, recipes, and other material. Bill lived in Fowler, Colorado. I lived in Sheridan, Wyoming, where I still am today. We were drawn to each other because I worked as a registered music therapist in a nursing home and his mother lived in one. We met face to face twice when my father and I detoured to Fowler on our way to New Mexico to visit relatives. I thought Bill just wanted to be friends.

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You can read the full article here. Thanks to Ernest Dempsey for publishing this on his blog, Recovering the Self.

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By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website