I’ve mentioned that I’ve been in a book slump. For as much as I like to read, I hate to quit a book almost as much. Something I dislike only slightly less is to not feel drawn in to a book, like I’m reading it because I’m bored, and not because I really want too. That’s how I’ve felt for the last couple of weeks. I admitted this to a good book friend, and my librarian. Both assured me that I would get through it shortly, and that they wouldn’t dump me over it! Color me relieved! It was embarrassing to be in a book slump. The good news is I think I’m out of it! Yay, me!
I picked up a book on a whim, one that had been on my shelf for probably close to three years. I hadn’t read anything by this author, and it was the only book by her that I had. I read Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs on a whim, and within a few pages I was really enjoying it. Molly Harper, the author, is a former humor columnist, and it shows. I have laughed out loud, usually by myself in an empty house, or in bed, waking my husband, and have loved every minute of the book. It was a quick read, and I immediately searched my library for Ms. Harper. I found this book, And One Last Thing, which was her first book about someone that doesn’t have fangs, or turn four-legged and hairy on the full moon. I enjoyed this book too, and thought I ‘d share a little of it with you.
Lacey Terwilliger is a stay-at-home wife, supporting her husband, Mike, in his prospering accounting firm by joining charities and volunteering with other “corporate wives”. The first chapter starts out with this sentence: “If Singletree’s only florist didn’t deliver her posies half-drunk, I might still be married to that floor-licking, scum-sucking, receptionist-nailing hack-accountant, Mike Terwilliger.” If that doesn’t make you laugh and keep reading, I don’t know what will! The aforementioned half-drunk florist, Cherry Glick, knocks on Lacey’s door to deliver a beautiful bouquet of peach colored roses. Lacey is pleasantly surprised, and opens the card in the arrangement. It read, “To My Bumblebee, Happy Anniversary, With all my love, Stinger”. Mike has never called Lacey by a nickname, and he’s never referred to himself, or been referred to by Lacey, as “Stinger”. It is also not their anniversary.
Confused, Lacey tells the stumbling Cherry that she’s delivered the arrangement to the wrong house. When Cherry assures her that the delivery is from Mr. Terwilliger, Lacey checks the billing envelope and sees that the florist was supposed to deliver the “albatross arrangement” to the Terwilliger office. At first Lacey thinks perhaps Mike is bringing the roses home to her, and giving her a new nickname, Bumblebee. In her confusion it takes a bit to realize that coincidentally, Mike’s assistant’s name is Beebee. You can imagine where it goes from there. Surprisingly, Lacey shows great restraint in dealing with Mike. She doesn’t tell him about the mis-delivered roses, or that she saw him in his office with Beebee after the mis-delivery, or that she found his new email account, firstname.lastname@example.org, with the password Bumblebee, or that she’s seen all the raunchy emails and photos attached.
Mike continues on his merry way having “client dinners”, “working late”, and generally behaving as usual. Meanwhile Lacey is vacillating between being angry and disbelieving. When Mike asks her over dinner how the monthly newsletter is coming along, she gets a vengeful inspiration. The idea solidifies when Mike instructs her to call Beebee and do a “getting to know you” interview so the clients will be familiar with her when they call the office.
The fourth chapter is titled, “Hell Hath No Fury…Like a Woman with a Mailing List”. This is a small spoiler, so if you want to read the book, you could just go get it, and forego reading this right here. She starts off by saying, “As we head into those dog days of July, Mike would like to thank those who helped him get the toys he needs to enjoy his summer”. She details his purchases, including a bass boat and a condo in Florida. Then she goes straight for the jugular, “…and a $2,000 set of golf clubs…which he has been using as an alibi to cover the fact that he has been remorselessly banging his secretary, Beebee, for the last six months.” At this point I am holding my sides laughing! How many of us have been through something like this, or know someone who has, and we’ve been angry, hurt, devastated, and vented to our closest friends, but not done a public thing about it? Lacey continues the newsletter, telling Mike’s clients, “I learned that cheap motel rooms have been christened. Office equipment has been sullied.” When referring to BeeBee, she writes, “I’ve had a hard time not blaming the conniving, store-bought-cleavage-baring Oompa Loompa-skinned adulteress for her part in the destruction of my marriage. But considering what she’s getting, she has my sympathies.” The last paragraph of the newsletter starts with, “And one last thing”, and ends with “Mike Terwilliger will own up to being the faithless, loveless, spineless, useless, dickless wonder he is.”
I am delighted by this book, and this is only chapter four! With her life in shambles, and after becoming the defendant in Mike’s defamation lawsuit, Lacey retreats to the family cabin on the lake to hide out. The story is appealing and humorous. Lacey has to learn to sleep alone, shop for herself, without caring what Mike’s preferences are, and survive being a media punch line.
Lacey is approached by Maya, the owner of a small greeting card company called “Season’s Gratings”, with card lines such as “Arsenic and Bold Face”. Maya proposes that Lacey join her company, and write newsletters and emails for other women who have experienced similar circumstances with their husbands. While the idea is appealing and would provide an income for the newly divorced stay-at-home wife, will this keep her in a mindset of revenge and anger? Lacey’s transition to a single functioning adult after being a support person to her philandering husband is tricky, emotional and hilarious!
If you get a chance to read And One Last Thing, I hope that you enjoy it. And if you like humorous, romantic and supernatural stories, you would probably enjoy her two series, “Good Girls Don’t….”, and the “A Naked Werewolf”.
You can read more about Molly Harper and her books at her website. She also has a companion blog, “Single Undead Female“.