This is a book about wealthy people wasting their money on fad health crazes and one 40ish successful woman’s descent into it all after her business partner who is her childhood friend tells her she is an embarrassment and can no longer be the face of the company she helped build because she’s too fat. And no, very much to my disappointment, she does not stab him to death.
She owns 49% the company and though she’s hurt by his rejection and horrible insults, she silently slinks away and embarks on all of the fad fitness journeys that money can buy. And, apparently, money can buy you a lot of useless diet aides (clay eating?!) and retreats and painful over-priced workouts. Thankfully, I’ll never have enough extra money laying around to throw away on a $50 topless yoga class!
Janie wasn’t too bad as the main character. She’s dealing with a double whammy of betrayal and humiliation and manages to keep on plugging away instead of falling into a fit of “poor me” despair. Despite being a little insecure and very dumb about her business partner, Beau, she’s pretty likable as far as these types go. She knows these things are ridiculous but she goes along with them anyway; drinking strange juices, spending $15,000 on a retreat, eating a little clay, taking her top off and buying a fitness watch thingy that embarrasses her at every turn.
This book does poke fun at Gwyneth Paltrow and her silly Goop-iness but other than that I found it all pretty shallow and only vaguely entertaining and though it promised to be “outrageously funny” it really was not. However, you may have a better sense of humor than I.
well, the first sex scene of the book (~3/4 of the way through) is a whole lot of NOPE for me... and i'm pretty sure i know what's going on in the second one and i'm also seriously not a fan.
otherwise mostly enjoying the book, though the fact the story seems to be "girl knowingly makes really bad decisions" rankles a little
My 2018 TBR is slowly but surely filling up thanks to all of the sales that Audible is having. Any time I can get a book for less than the cost of a credit, I consider it a good price. So, today I went through my wish-list picking off a few titles that appealed.
"The Bette Davis Club" is a larger than life comedy, structured around a chaotic road-trip in a classic 1938 MG that careens from Malibu to Manhattan by way of Chicago.
Margo Just, the main character, is a single woman in her fifties whose life is slowly falling apart. She's been a fully paid-up member of the Bette Davis Club for many years (I'm not going to spoil things by telling you what that means but I'm sure most of you will have met a member or two) and can't find a way to move on.
A New Yorker from the age of nineteen, Margo attends her niece's wedding in her childhood home inMalibu more for the free accommodation, food and drink than out of any sense of family connection.
When the bride jilts the groom and makes a run for it, Margo's financially straitened circumstances, combined with the impact of the several vodka martinis and the promise of the use of her dead father's classic little red sports car, lead to her accept a mission from her half-sister bring the runaway bride home. Ony after she accepts the mission does she discover that the jilted groom will be her driver and that her sister is as concerned to retrieve some things the bride took with her as she is to have her daughter return.
What follows is a riotous journey with some classic scenes, including a crazed attack on the highway and Margo, who is straight, doing the samba in a lesbian dance competition.
As a backdrop to all this, we learn Margo's backstory and how she came to join the Betty Davis Club. It's the backstory that adds emotional weight to what could have been just another light comedy. When we finally see Margo in her entirety, we meet a woman on the cusp of confronting who she is and what she's going to do with the rest of her life.
I'd expected the "The Bette Davis Club" to be a fast fun read. It met those expectations and then exceeded them by constantly surprising me and engaging me more and more deeply with Margo's story.
Sadly, there are no more books by Jane Lotter. She self-published "The Bette Davis Club" just before she died of cancer. She then wrote her own obituary. You can read it here.
It seems to me that Jane Lotter was an extraordinary woman who gifted us with one extraordinary book.