Librarian Janet Johnson is puzzled when she is invited—and practically dragged—to her first meeting of the Rejected Writers’ Book Club. This quirky group of women would much rather celebrate one another’s rejected manuscripts over cups of tea and slices of lemon cake than actually publish a book. But good friends are exactly what Janet needs after moving to the small town of Southlea Bay, Washington. Just as the ladies are about to raise a teacup to their five hundredth rejection letter, they receive bad news that could destroy one member’s reputation—and disband the group forever. To save the club, Janet joins her fellow writers on a wild road trip to San Francisco in search of the local publisher who holds the key to a long-buried secret. As they race to the finish line, they’ll face their fears—landslides, haunted houses, handsome strangers, ungrateful children—and have the time of their lives.
Rating: 4 stars
The book initially set itself up to be a fairly serious fiction piece with the main character, Janet, being needed in her daughter’s family emergency, but it quickly becomes obvious that this is a much more light-hearted tale. In fact, some of the more comedic parts do verge on farce and the book is a little bit simplistic and requires full suspension of disbelief on the road trip, but it’s so gentle that I wish all of life could be that way. On the journey, Janet shows a strange lack of urgency (considering her reasons for travel) almost as though she has as much time as she likes, with no real need to reach her end destination quickly. I was willing her to want to hurry up and was the same way about the group’s personal safety – far more concerned about it than they were.
Some things were a little too convenient and seemed a little too ‘story device’ to be possible, with people acting in ways I didn’t expect or necessarily believe, and the SUV that Janet drove must have been an absolute T.A.R.D.I.S.
At the heart of it, though, this is a book about women – about the relationships and friendships between women, and the families we are related to, as well as those we choose to make our family, and further proof that age is no boundary to friendship.
It is an uplifting and fun read. I enjoyed the setting in the Pacific North West and the cast of characters that the group of ladies met on their road trip, but most of all I enjoyed Doris. She was the true star of the book for me, and probably has many more stories to tell.
I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.