Forty Something by Mary Eason
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Length: Full (184 pages)
Reviewed by Black-eyed Susan
Some mistakes are easy to forget, while others can become glaring reminders of past failures that stand ready to haunt you for the rest of your life. For Laney Winters, life is full of glaring reminders. Starting with the fact that she's pregnant at forty-one, has just been divorced by her louse of an ex-husband who has a fetish for his secretaries, and, to top it off, has been forced by financial circumstances to move back home to live with her two very eccentric, matchmaking old-maid aunts.
Nothing like hitting a Trifecta when it comes to making the kind of mistakes that call for some serious life re-evaluation. This wasn’t quite how Laney had pictured her life turning out when she’d left town at seventeen, vowing never to return to Down, Texas, or the Pine Street Diner again. The last thing she expected to find in either place was love.
Mary Eason has crafted a romance novel that sparkles with emotion and verve from start to finish. The book opens with successful romance author Laney Winters suffering a severe bout of "good news/bad news". The good news? She's just landed a fabulous book deal for a romance series. Better yet, even though she's in her forties she's finally going to be a first time mother. The bad news? Her husband turns out to be a disinterested, mercenary, two-timing louse! In the pain that follows his demand for a divorce, Laney flounders. She loses the ability to focus and write. She loses all sense of who she is and where she should go - both literally and figuratively.
From that point on the book just rocks with irony, emotion, and surprising twists that kept me on the edge of my seat reading to see what would happen next. The plot progressed naturally and believably through the pain, angst, anger, inertia, depression, and desire for revenge, to the healing and love and refocus that can come after a divorce.
After a season of indecision and counseling and contemplations of revenge, Laney decides to head back to her hometown. This is where we get to meet some of Ms. Eason's most wonderful, quirky, and well developed characters. Laney ends up moving in with her two elderly twin aunts - cigar smoking, sharp-tongued Selma and sweet, gentle, lovable Thelma. These two provided a touching and hilarious counterpoint to Laney's struggles and they manage to distract her from her own trials by providing her with several new circumstances to be concerned about. Their many schemes, surprising hobbies, tangles with the law, and secret pasts keep the plot lively and interesting to say the least.
Then there's that handsome, benevolent stranger who almost hits Laney as she's walking down the road during one of her lowest moments. He mistakes her for a homeless person! Then he shows up again in the most unexpected places.
According to Ms. Eason in her dedication: "To anyone who has ever thought life ended with divorce. I hope this book brings a smile and gives hope."
It is this reviewer's opinion that she accomplished that goal and done so with style! I highly recommend this book.