Friday, November 24, 2017

The Ladies' Room, by Carolyn Brown (author), Donna Postel (narrator)

Brilliance Audio, November 2016 (original publication October 2011)

In the ladies' room at church during her Great-Aunt Gert's funeral, Trudy overhears her cousins talking about her husband Drew's infidelity. Unbeknownst to Trudy, it's been going on for the entire twenty years of their marriage--and her cousins can't decide whether she's too stupid to know, or too spineless to do anything.

Trudy is uncomfortably aware that she's been willfully ignoring signs of trouble for a long time.

But Drew's latest playmate is a twenty-something teller at their bank, and he's given her a Thunderbird, and Trudy is furious at realizing how she's let herself be used.

It's time to act.

Of course, she's got a mother slipping into Alzheimer's dementia, and a daughter in the midst of a major rebellion. She's just inherited Aunt Gert's ancient, cluttered house, and her presumably tiny savings at the other local bank, the one she and her husband don't do business at. It surely won't be easy.

Trudy is about to go through changes she can't imagine.

Many of these changes will be good, including rediscovering her late aunt, an old friend, and new love.

I can't help but like Trudy. She's smarter, tougher, and more resilient than she thinks she is, and kinder than a part of her wants to be. There are elements of fairytale here--although that also has the effect of some things resolving themselves just too neatly. Her daughter snaps out of her spoiled-brat rebellion a little too easily and completely. Her ex apparently never realizes, or never gets angry about, how he accidentally did himself out of a lot of money by being too eager to sign a divorce agreement he thinks is one-sided in his favor. Her ex-in-laws are cartoonish in their villainy, and tissue paper in their ability to do anything.

But I really like Trudy, and Billy Lee Tucker, and what Trudy learns about herself, him, and her Aunt Gert. The book is enjoyable and emotionally satisfying despite its weaknesses.

Recommended for when you're in that mood.

I bought this audiobook.