I’m not very fussy about what type of books I read and I read across a rather large range of genres (except sci-fi because anything related to science hurts my head). I love classics, mystery, thriller, detective, the odd chick-lit, a good romance; nearly everything really. But once I get into a routine of a specific genre, I tend to stick with it for a couple of months.
I was trying to venture out of my current comfort zone so I decided to give The Bette Davis Club by Jane Lotter a try. It is supposed to be an adventure-filled book that will make you laugh out loud. I haven’t read many crazy chick-lit lately so I thought I was due for some.
**This part of the review consist of Spoilers
Margo Just is a fifty-odd year old woman who spent the last 3 decades in love with a gay man, with a string of unsuccessful relationships and a drinking problem. Her niece, Georgia, is getting married and the mother, her half-sister, Charlotte invites her to the wedding at the house that Margo was sent away from as a child after her father died.
The morning of the wedding, Georgia runs away, taking with her a family heirloom. Charlotte offers Margo fifty grand to find her daughter and to retrieve the heirloom. Margo is broke so she couldn’t pass up the chance and so she sets off with the bride’s jilted fiance Tully in a borrowed 1955 red MG. So off they go across the country chasing after Georgia.
Basically it’s a book that’s trying to cramp every single possible kind of story line into the plot – including the Hollywood stars, the runaway bride, a tragic love affair that was not meant to be, bad luck turned good and the poor leading woman becomes a millionaire, unlikely male and female protagonists falling in love. With a lot of lesbian and gay side stories.
That said, it doesn’t seem to know what to focus on so the multiple plots just appear to be one big mess. The main interesting points gets pushed to the back – that Margo’s mother was actually a mistress, why Margo did not marry, why Tully wanted to marry her niece who is half his age, and Margo admitting that she’s an alcoholic.
The plot was confusing with very little flow and honestly quite ridiculous. None of the characters were likeable. Everyone seem like a complete and utter airhead. I get that this is supposed to be a fun and crazy book but I would like some semblance of common sense; I would say that this is way more chick-lit than most chick-lit that I’ve ever read.
I think there was also a generation gap between the author and I; I don’t understand most jokes because there are a lot of references to very old movie stars that I’ve never heard of. I took over 4 days to read the book because it was so painful to read. I really tried to skim through quickly, as I do with books that I am not enjoying, but the plot just plodded on.
I feel kind of bad for not liking this book because there was a touching foreword by the daughter of the author about how happy they were that Lake Union Publishing (Amazon) picked it up; the author passed away not long before and it was always her dream to become a published author. But sadly I really don’t like it.