Sunday, December 15, 2013

Summer Blowout, by Claire Cook

I saw this book recommended as a good beach read but somehow ended up reading it in the dead of winter. Perhaps that was a bad choice . . . or perhaps Summer Blowout just isn't very good. It's a silly story about Bella Shaughnessy, a make-up artist who works at her Irish family's Italian-themed chain of salons. She's recently divorced--her ex-husband slept with her half sister, who works with Bella, as does pretty much everyone in the family. Throughout the novel's hi-jinks, she inherits a dog from a dry-heaving bride, meets a nice entrepreneur who helps her develop a side business, and well, it's all just more of the same. The take-away for me is that writing a funny novel is harder than it looks--eccentric characters in slap-stick situations are not inherently humorous or, if they are, I have lost my sense of humor.

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