My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre: Women's Fiction, Contemporary
Disclaimer: As a member of NetGalley, I received this galley in exchange for an honest review.
Part 1: From The Book Cover
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.
Part 2: Recommendation
The title and cover art drew me to download this galley and I'm glad I did. I like stories set in small towns with quirky characters and this is no exception. This book is hilarious and witty and I just fell right in love with Janet. I enjoyed the author's writing style and sense of humor and like Janet, I found Ethel to be a bit disturbing. I feel like there's a story there to be discovered and I hope Suzanne Kelman will write Ethel's story next.
Another thing about this book that bothers me is that I felt this book was a tad surreal in the sense that all the women just took Dan, a complete stranger, on his word and allowed him to ride with them from Oregon, all the way to Medford and seeing that this is set in this day and age, and with Doris' strong personality, how come Doris or any of the other "practical" ladies in the group never stood up and said no to Dan riding with them or at least have a scene where someone says something about not trusting a complete stranger? Just because a stranger is attractive or good-looking doesn't mean you could automatically trust them. What if he's an axe murderer or something? And talk about stalker tendencies when Dan suddenly showed up in the "haunted house" during a snow storm up in the mountains in the middle of nowhere just to check up on the ladies and of course to be with Flora and even went with them to San Francisco and then back. And then there's Stacy's ice and fire personality which to me, felt like the author doesn't really know Stacy and simply decided to have Stacy as Janet's daughter with a pregnancy crisis in San Francisco just to make Janet's trip out to San Francisco have that personal importance because throughout the book, Janet herself is not that close to the Rejected ladies and their crisis is not of any importance to her and if there's nothing in San Francisco that is urgent/important to Janet, why would she even allow herself to be roped in on this road trip with ladies she doesn't even like that much in the first place? I sure wouldn't. So I felt like Stacy was just the character to tie things up neatly with.
Overall, it was an enjoyable read and I hope the author plans on writing more about the Rejected ladies and their adventures.