Friday, June 5, 2009

Julie's Review: The Late, Lamented Molly Marx

Summary: Molly Divine Marx is dead. No one is quite sure how—murder, suicide, tragic accident?—and even Molly's own recollection doesn't explain much. Narrating this charming novel from an afterlife limbo known as the Duration, Molly follows the investigation of her death while keeping tabs on the living she left behind. Nearly everyone is a suspect: Barry, Molly's philandering plastic surgeon husband; Kitty, her controlling mother-in-law; Luke, Molly's lover; and the cabal of wifely hopefuls who line up for a shot at Barry before Molly's casket is safely in the ground. Longtime magazine editor Koslow (Little Pink Slips) knows her way around expertly tuned phrasing, and Molly is a delightful gem of a heroine. Equal parts self-deprecating, wry and sassy, Molly is honest about her faults and easily forgiving of the others' as she reviews her life with a hearty dose of honesty and humor. Though the anticipated delicious revelation doesn't quite live up to expectations, the narrative's heavy dose of hilarity and heartbreak will win readers over.

Review: I received this book from LibraryThing's Early Reviewers but it is something I probably would have picked up off the bookshelf and bought. The book was good not great but still entertaining. I liked Molly. In fact most of the characters in the book are likeable, even her smuck of a husband Barry. The problem with Molly is that she's dead and no one knows how or perhaps why. The Late, Lamented Molly Marx: A Novel is a chick lit book tied into a mystery and it works well. It actually comes off better than Jennifer Weiner's Goodnight Nobody: A Novel. We see Molly's loved ones and not so loved ones after her death as does Molly because she's in the Duration and can flit about in their lives and even hear their thoughts.

I think I identified with Molly for a few reasons 1) We are about the same age 2) Our daughters are the same age and 3) she hails from Chicago! I loved that part of the book and it's probably why it got bummed up in my rating. She's in a suburb that I used to work in and mentions a place that is so locally famous that I was shocked it was in the book. I wonder if Ms. Koslow is from this area?

There is no real resolution to what happened to Molly and I was disappointed in that part of the book. I felt that I took all this time to get to know her and was left with nothing but more questions. As for Molly, she seemed ok with this ending to her saga and maybe the point is that some things in life and in death are just not worth fretting about. The ending of the book did choke me up but didn't cause me to cry many tears.

Other than Molly, I adored Brie and I'm glad she really was a true-blue friend to Molly. You never know where authors are going to take you in books like these, like if she was a "wolf in sheeps clothing" or really a true friend. I also liked Detective Hicks. He seemed like a good person and a solid cop.

All in all, it's a good summer read. Something you can enjoy and then put away.

Final Take: 3.75/5


Julie P. June 5, 2009 at 11:45 AM  

I just finished this book this week. Still have my review to write -- you did a great job with yours.

Julie June 5, 2009 at 12:00 PM  

I'll be anxious to see what you think of it. :)

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