Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Sweet Virginia (Out of Line Collection), by Caroline Kepnes (author), Kristen Bell (narrator)

Brilliance Audio, September 2020

Shelby works at the magazine Modern Love, is married, and has a new baby.

But none of her story ideas are getting accepted at the magazine. One day, she comes home from grocery shopping, and forgets to close the door  door while getting things to the kitchen, and their dog gets out. He's hit by a truck and killed.

Shelby's misguided pitch of a story about Hallmark movies is the last straw that gets her fired, and the death of the dog convinces her husband and her mother that she can't be trust unsupervised with the baby. Her mother--"Mommy," to both her and her husband, which I found extremely off-putting (seriously, we get no hint that "Mommy" has any other name) moves in, and she and her son-in-law occasionally let Shelby hold the baby for a few minutes.

I can't imagine why she would find this frustrating, or have any difficulty bonding with the baby, can you? 🙄

Shelby watches her beloved Hallmark movies, and pretends to be submitting and selling stories freelance, and starts to get odd text messages, saying there's a way out of this rut, a way to fulfill some of her dreams.

Then she and her mother go to the store, and when she tries to pay, her card is declined, and the bank says the account doesn't even exist.

"Mommy" sounds completely paranoid when she says women are disappearing, and this kind of event often precedes the disappearance. Yet, it's not long before Shelby finds that the text messages were a trap, and she's been whisked away to a town called Heaven's Bottom, to be transformed from a failed woman, a "W2," into a real, proper W1, a woman who knows how to love.

And then Shelby slips very quickly into what sounds to me like Stockholm Syndrome. She's not actually achieving any change in the desired direction, but she is sure they're doing this for her own good.

And it trails off without any real ending that I could discern. Not recommended. 

I received this audiobook as part of the Audible Originals program, and am reviewing it voluntarily. 

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