Mary Kay Andrews is the maven of summer reading. She has come to this area of expertise by crafting some of the most enjoyable summer stories of the past decade. With her latest novel, Ladies' Night, she has sealed this crown in perpetuity. This is her best book yet, and it combines all of the strengths we have come to expect from this audacious and beguiling author.
Andrews has created a leading lady in this story who is full of charm and grace. Appropriately, her name is Grace. She is a lifestyle expert and has the blog to prove it. She and her husband, Ben, have created a mini-empire utilizing her skills and warm personality, which comes through completely on her blog, which is titled "Gracenotes." She has a legion of followers, and for Grace, life is good.
Apparently it is not good enough for Ben, as he is caught in flagrante delicto with Grace's assistant J'Aimee. Grace is enraged and drives Ben's Mercedes into the family swimming pool. She also makes the mistake of leaving the house -- her and Ben's house. When she tries to return she finds Ben has changed the locks. He has also cleaned out their joint bank accounts. She has no choice but to retreat to her mother's apartment which is located above the family bar.
After this, things go downhill fast. When Grace files for divorce the judge sentences her to "anger management" counseling. It appears Ben is going to be able to have his cake and eat it too. Still, Grace is a fighter, and also a good person. This has to account for something, doesn't it?
Seeing how Grace gets her revenge, restarts her career, and finds a new love make up the bulk of the book. Andrews draws upon the best of her skills in developing the characters in the story. Each and every one is fully drawn, from Grace to the members of her counseling group to her toad of a husband to her newly found boyfriend. You get to know these people and to relish them all.
Ladies' Night is a story that is dramatic, hilariously funny, romantic, sexy and satisfying. That should fill all the elements on your wish list for a great summer read. Once you have finished this story you will want there to be a sequel for you to plunge right into.
Mary Kay Andrews is one unique writer who knows her fans and what satisfies them. Ladies' Night delivers the goods and makes us all want to declare the very talented Ms. Andrews a nation treasure.
Ladies' Night is published by St Martin's Press. It contains 400 pages and sells for $25.99.
Jackie K Cooper