The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank
Publication date: June 11, 2013 by William Morrow
Source: Publisher for an honest review
Description from Goodreads:
Leslie Anne Greene Carter is the last original wife among her husband's group of cronies. They've all traded in their first wives-the middle-aged women they long ago promised to love and cherish 'til death did them part-for riper peaches: younger . . . blonder . . . more enhanced models.
Leslie is proud of her status and the longevity of her marriage. Sure the spark isn't quite as bright and sometimes takes a little longer to flame. And it wouldn't be too much to ask if her husband paid just an itty bit more attention to her desires. But there's something to be said for a comfortable and deeply familiar relationship. Or at least she thinks until the day, out golfing with her husband and his friends, she slips into a manhole. And nobody realizes that she's gone.
That one misstep opens Leslie's eyes to the sham her perfect life has become. No longer will she be invisible. No longer will she accept being taken for granted. With the healing powers of South Carolina's lush white beaches, candy-colored sunsets, and fiesty and funny residents, Leslie is going to transform herself and reclaim the strong, vibrant, sexy woman she was meant to be.
The Last Original Wife is classic Dorothea Benton Frank: an intoxicating tale of friendship and love that is as refreshing as a soothing breeze across a golden lowcountry marsh and as invigorating as a dip in cool, salty waters on a sizzling South Carolina summer day.
Maybe I read The Last Original Wife at just the right time, but I found it to be just the perfect summer read. I have been reading some grim stuff lately and this was exactly what I needed to read.
Leslie is such a fun character - she is smart, sophisticated, and not ashamed of her age. She is the much put-upon wife and mother who goes about her life doing for others -- until a completely crazy event knocks her out of her normal view of her life. I mean falling into a manhole is upsetting - but for it to happen while in a foreign country, while doing normal touristy things and to have your husband not even notice -- and then get upset because he almost missed his tee time ---- that is just not okay. That would spur anyone to re-examine their life.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book -- it is light, fun, the descriptions of southern life are beautiful, and for once, the female character does exactly what she wants and doesn't let her family dictate her actions. I can't wait to read more books by Dorothea Benton Frank.