Happy Monday, mersquad coven!
I took a pretty nice break getting my semester over with and didn’t realize that I really took a long break with all of my blog tour posts somehow. It was great, and I really should have taken this time to catch up with some of my reviews that I haven’t done in a while, but I will take some time to do that soon. In any case, thank you so much to Harlequin Trade Publishing for having me on this blog tour!
The drama is hot and the drinks are flying in Wendy Francis’s witty, warm, and quirky family drama, BEST BEHAVIOR (Graydon House; May 5, 2020; $17.99 USD). Heartfelt and relatable, Francis cleverly portrays the nuances of a less-than-perfect but more-than-loving blended family in all its messy glory.
Meredith Parker and her husband Joel have been dreading the weekend of their twins’ college graduation. Not only does it mean that Dawn and Cody are flying out of Meredith’s nest to live in Chicago and North Dakota, but it also means Meredith will have to deal with her insufferable ex-husband, Roger, his pompous parents and his new wife Lily, so young she could be the twins’ sister! But Meredith is willing to be the Jackie O. of college graduations. She can handle that for three days, can’t she?Meanwhile, Dawn, who has spent a lifetime cleaning up after her ‘golden boy’ brother, discovers a mess even she may not be able to get Cody out of. He’s been acting weird last the few weeks of school; picking up smoking, breaking up with his girlfriend, but this… this is definitely a problem. She needs to figure out what’s going on with her twin before he really ruins his life.
Wendy Francis is a former book editor and the author of three novels: The Summer Sail, The Summer of Good Intentions, and Three Good Things. Her essays have appeared in Good Housekeeping, The Washington Post, Yahoo Parenting, The Huffington Post, and WBUR’s Cognoscenti. Born and raised in the Midwest, she now lives outside of Boston with her husband and son.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Harlequin Trade Publishing, Netgalley, and Graydon House Books for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.
Oh my gosh. The feelings that I got reading this book just really stirred up some long forgotten emotions in me that I didn’t think I would even remember thinking about. Sure, none of the things in my life really happened exactly as it happened in this novel but I could see some of the similarities in my life and it’s just so cringy to remember it. I could only imagine how my own mom felt being the main character of Meredith, having to deal with the cheating ex, the current husband, the idiosyncrasies of such a complicated family dynamic and everything that goes along with it. I don’t think I could handle it. So feeling like I was witnessing parts of my own family while reading this made me relate to this novel even more.
I couldn’t help but feel for Meredith and her family, most especially her children. I definitely was not team Roger (the cheating Ex), and even though he was the twins’ father, I wouldn’t have minded if he wasn’t at the graduation ceremony. But then again, that’s not my place. Then we had Meredith’s current husband Joel in the mix, and for some reason, there’s something going on with him as well – or at least someone he is familiar with at this ceremony – that may be taking away his attention from trying to help Meredith come to terms with her empty-nest syndrome since Dawn and Cody are going to be leaving to start their adult lives on opposite sides of the country away from home. It happens, but hopefully Joel is able to come to terms with what’s going on with this familiar face and it doesn’t get in the way of him trying to help Meredith with her own emotions.
I personally don’t know if I liked Lily (Roger’s new wife), and maybe that’s solely because she’s Roger’s wife, and I don’t like Roger. But that wouldn’t be fair to her, and she’s just a character in a book so why should I make her feel that way, right? Oh well. I guess you would have to read this for your self to find out whether or not you would either have some sympathy for Lily or just not like her to begin with.
All in all, this turned out to be an emotional ride.