A New Widow Meets Up With Old Friends for a Weekend
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As the book jacket will tell you, a five-star-weekend is one in which “one woman organizes a trip for her best friend from each phase of her life: her teenage years, her twenties, her thirties, and midlife.” The book’s main character, Hollis Shaw, is intrigued by this concept and decides to try it herself. In part, her decision is based on the fact that she is a very popular food blogger and such a weekend event – with an eclectic group of ladies – would give her lots of photos to post and recipes to share with the followers of “Hungry with Hollis.”
Thus, Hollis invites her childhood friend, Tatum, and her college friend, Dru-Ann. She also invites Brooke, a woman with whom she shared her early years of motherhood. Her choice of friend from midlife, though, is an odd one. Gigi is a woman Hollis has never met in person. They have only been in touch online. Gigi is seemingly an uber-fan of “Hungry with Hollis.” Hollis also invites her daughter, Caroline, who is a college student studying filmmaking. Their relationship is a bit on the rocks, so when Hollis asks Caroline to film the weekend, she hopes this will flatter Caroline and win her over.
Be forewarned that each of these characters comes with a full back story. It’s a little overwhelming at first to follow the lives of all these people. But ultimately, it’s worth the effort. All of the characters are compelling.
These tidbits about each character are not spoilers since we learn them early on. Tatum, whose mother died of breast cancer, is waiting to hear the results of her own breast biopsy. Dru-Ann is a prominent agent for sports figures and the internet has just blown up against her because of something she said about her client, Posey. It does not help matters that Dru-Ann’s love relationship is with – or perhaps was with – Posey’s father. And then there is Brooke, whose husband, Charlie, has just lost his job over a #MeToo related offense. We don’t learn too much about Gigi up front except that she is a pilot for a major airline. Even Caroline comes with a back story. She is in a love triangle with Isaac and Sofia.
As it turns out, Hollis has her own stuff to deal with. Her husband, Matthew, recently died in a car accident. Their relationship was also on the rocks at the time of his death. In part, she plans this weekend to help occupy herself as she gets past her pain. However, having such a big event so soon after his death is another source of conflict for her and her daughter.
If these are not enough storylines to ponder, readers will want to know these things:
- What happened between Tatum and Dru-Ann at Hollis’ wedding?
- Who is Electra, and what did she do to hurt the relationship Brooke had with Hollis?
- What’s the deal with Tatum’s husband, Kyle? Why did he invite Hollis’ ex-boyfriend from high school to town that same weekend?
- And hold onto your hat – readers will really want to hear what Tatum and Brooke have to report on the quality of their orgasms in marriage.
Clearly, there are lots of storylines here and if the reader can keep them all straight, a rollicking good time can be had reading this book. It’s not Tolstoy, but it’s a great beach read.
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