Thank you to NetGalley and Scribner for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.
Despite not liking my first Perrotta book too particularly well (The Leftovers – 3/5 stars), I decided to give this one a try as well. I ended up liking Mrs. Fletcher as much as I liked The Leftovers, which is disappointing because I really like Tom Perrotta’s writing style. His stories, however, just aren’t doing it for me. If you have a suggestion for another Perrotta book for me to try out, please feel free to mention it to me.
This book is told from the point of view of Eve, a 40-something divorcee and a recent empty-nester rediscovering her sexuality. Eve wants a different life now that she’s alone, so we follow her as she tries to make a new life for herself by going for drinks and dinner alone, signing up for a college class (taught by an openly transgender woman named Margo Fairchild who was the only character I liked in this book) and meeting and hanging out with new people including a young man her son went to high school with named Julian Spitzer and a coworker of Eve’s named Amanda.
This book is also told from the point of Brendan, Eve’s son who is a freshman in college living in a dorm. When college doesn’t turn out to be the constant party with his roommate Zack that Brenden assumed it would be, he started doing worse in his classes. After a shitty experience with an autism advocate named Amber, Brenden decides to quit college and return home in the middle of the night with no notice to his mother.
The book follows Brenden and Eve for less than a year until their paths cross again in an overly lackluster way. I feel like the end of the book came a little too quickly and Eve changed so fast that it didn’t make sense to me. I was happy, however, that she and her son both found happiness even though I’m not sure exactly how it came to be.
This book feels a bit over-reaching to becoming all-inclusive with a transgender woman, people with different sexualities, people with severe depression, differently abled people (including Brenden’s young step-brother with autism and a young woman in a wheelchair), many races of college students and so on.
ALL THAT BEING SAID- I picked up this book because it looked like a light trashy read for summer and it was exactly what I wanted. I would have hoped that the characters were at least a little more likable and had redeemable storylines, but I digress. This book was a quick read and some points were incredibly amusing. I will try another Perrotta book in the future and maybe have better luck next time.