Sunday, July 12, 2009

Book Club Book Review: The Late Lamented Molly Marx

The Good: Amazing premise. Molly Marx is dead. Before she's off to the Duration, she has the opportunity to watch all that happens with the people she left behind. She can even hear their thoughts. So she watches and listens to her husband, her daughter, her sister, her best friend, and her lover. The first three-quarters of the book are highly entertaining as we learn about Molly's past life and what happens after she dies. Molly is a smartly written, likeable character and Koslow paints a solid picture of NYC. Lisa and I felt especially cool when we read about Molly eating at Bouchon Bakery because Sarah had taken us there when we visited New York in March.

But one of our favorite parts of the book had to be the letter Molly left behind for her daughter. It was beautifully written, made me tear up a bit when I read it and inspired me to think about doing this for my own daughter. Nicely done.

The Bad: The end. The end of the book feels totally thrown together and unbelievable. We find out what actually happened to Molly and it was thoroughly disappointing. It seemed convenient and contrived and basically ruined an otherwise great book. It left us asking questions like, "Wait, Luke was at the baptism?" and "Wait a second, Stephanie owns a bike?"

Unfortunately, the book club gave it an overall thumbs down, but would have given it a big old thumbs up if none of us had ever finished the book. Ah...the irony.

The Ugly: Apparently, Lisa lost her ability to count when she lost her job because there were only 5 of us at the book club, not 6 as she claimed in her Friday post. Unless she was counting our waiter, the man in red in the background, but something tells me that wasn't her intention. Guess we'll know who to blame when her kids fail math.

Our next book is Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen. We're excited because this book club meeting will be extra-long and relaxing as it's filled with dinner and the movie that comes out August 7th. Maybe the allure of the movie will draw a bigger crowd!


Katie Anderson said...

This is totally off subject. In fact, truth be told, I haven't even read your post. I will do that next. I was just laughing at your putting Beer Man "On notice" over at Ms. J's blog for listing comments. LOL

I want to put someone "on notice!"

I need a schtick though that someone steals.

Speaking of which, my hubby came home the other day angry because one of his clients stole his line. Something that he always says. I might post about it. It was hilarious.

Katie Anderson said...

I'm back. Julie and Julia is adorable. You'll love it. You should def. eat some kind of weird french food while discussing - like some strange egg dish or liver pate or bone marrow. yeah - bone marrow!


Rebecca L Sutton said...

Looks like so much fun! It's amazing how the ending can kill an otherwise good book. Can't wait to hear about the next one, love that you're doing dinner and movie with it!

Little Ms J said...

Ahh, the sisterly digs. I know them well. I loved the book review, but cracked up at your concern over Lisa's failing math skills... and possibly failing children. Good stuff.

Christina Lee said...

pad thai....hmm.. this has me wondering what restaurant you were at in our great city ;) sooo interesting about the ending-I wonder how that came to be-and if anyone disagreed after it was written!

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

i want to read. Im back in edit mode. NOw I have to do 3 additional synopsis - where to begin? ugh. (not a bad place to be right?) you guys bucked it up for LA yet? come on!

Danyelle L. said...

This does sound like an awesome premise. You both are made of awesome, you know that? I love your blog and your reviews! A visit here always has me leaving with a smile. :D

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the disappointing ending - I really hate it when that happens. Love the pic of you guys!!! said...

Dear Laura and Lisa,

Sorry you didn't love the ending of my novel, The Late, Lamented Molly Marx, but I'm grateful that you all took the time to read and discuss it in your book club. I would love to post your picture on my web site, if you give me permssion. You're such an attractive group! LEt me know, pelase, at

All best,
Sally Koslow

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