Published by Brilliance Audio, Lake Union Publishing on December 8th 2015
Genres: Humorous, Women's Fiction
The morning of her niece’s wedding, Margo Just drinks a double martini and contemplates the many mistakes she’s made in her fifty-odd years of life. Spending three decades in love with a wonderful but unattainable man is pretty high up on her list of missteps, as is a long line of unsuccessful love affairs accompanied by a seemingly endless supply of delicious cocktails.
When the young bride flees—taking with her a family heirloom and leaving behind six hundred bewildered guests—her mother offers Margo fifty grand to retrieve her spoiled brat of a daughter and the invaluable property she stole. So, together with the bride’s jilted and justifiably crabby fiancé, Margo sets out in a borrowed 1955 red MG on a cross-country chase. Along the way, none of what she discovers will be quite what she expected. But it might be exactly what she’s been seeking all along.
From acclaimed humor writer Jane Lotter comes this madcap, laugh-out-loud adventure, The Bette Davis Club.
Revised edition: This edition of The Bette Davis Club includes editorial revisions.
#SuePitkin #JaneLotter #1955MGTF #BetteDavis #RunawayBride @BrillianceAudi1
I had no idea what Bette Davis had to do with the title of this book when I picked it out of the crowd of available audiobooks. I liked the story’s description, I liked the fact that it was humor, and I loved the fact that on the cover is a car just like one my mother’s best friend actually owned. I can still see her tooling around town in that car, but she would have never taken off across the country with a virtual stranger as Margo Just does in Jane Lotter’s The Bette Davis Club. What could be more fun than a farcical look at a really unconventional road trip? If you don’t laugh out loud a few times during the narration of this book, I would be very surprised. There are a number of scenes that are so ridiculously improbable I had no trouble imagining them because isn’t that what makes for outrageous humor in real life? It’s like that slipping-on-a-banana-peel thing. You know it’s going to be disastrous, but you just have to laugh. I’m at a bit of a loss as I try to explain why I liked this book so much. It is very well-written, but that is a skill. There is a feel, almost like an old silent film, that sets the book apart. I love the reminders of Hollywood’s Golden Age when its primary purpose was entertainment. I love the road trip in the vintage car on Route 66 to Palm Springs, that epitome of cardboard cutout towns. I love some of the characters and some I want to slap. There are some deep messages and there is some angst, but there is an ending that will satisfy most readers.
Sue Pitkin is a new narrator for me. I can’t remember if I’ve ever listened to a British actor do American accents and I have to say, for the most part, Ms. Pitkin is very effective. She is perfect as the hapless Margo, an American orphan whose British accent is acquired at her school in England. She is equally believable as Margo’s sophisticated New York friends and her California-raised half-sister. Hilarious is the only word to describe her voices for the runaway bride and her vapid best friend.
Today I’m doing something I’ve never done before in a review and that is providing a link to the author’s obituary. When I chose The Bette Davis Club as a listen, I was unfamiliar with Jane Lotter’s work and had no idea that she had died. I encourage readers of my review to connect to the link and read the author’s self-penned and humorous tribute to her life. I think you will see a lot of her courage in her character Margo Just. While it is sad that she only wrote one book, I think it is a book that lovers of humor, old movies, vintage cars, and lost causes will find a memorable read or listen. There is the added bonus of an introduction read by the author’s daughter, Tessa Marts. It will touch your heart and provide further insight into a short, but well-lived life. It would be too much of a spoiler to include an explanation as to exactly what the Bette Davis Club is, so I hope you enjoy the book and the laughter as much as I did while you wait for it.