"Tough being honest with yourself."
Reviewed by Sandra Wurman
Posted January 5, 2019
In just a few pages Susan Mallory has you absolutely hooked
in CALIFORNIA GIRLS. Be prepared to be very angry sad and
happy almost simultaneously. That takes talent and Susan
Mallery has it in abundance.
The sisters are thrown into turmoil not of their making.
Talk about victims. Two watched established relationships
disappear in seconds with no warning and the third was
basically dismissed. Two are truly left adrift but luckily
have their sisters to lean on. I especially love when one
sister volunteers to remove the miserable ex fiancĂ©'s liver.
Only kidding of course. But quite tempting in these
situations. Oh, and did I fail to mention Susan Mallery's
brand of humor, quite evident in CALIFORNIA GIRLS that
features some of the best conversations.
Feckless men. Sad excuse for gentlemen for sure and yet two
of these sisters had convinced themselves that these men
loved them. They were good friends and trustworthy. Both
were very wrong and left with the matter of trusting again.
Each sister has some issues with self-image although to each
other they are held on a sort of pedestal. They have
achieved success in their chosen careers and jobs. They are
smart and resourceful and yet brought to their knees by some
Story begins with Finola whose husband Nigel brashly
announces he is having an affair with a twenty something
singer who has a history with married men. But Nigel is
certain that doesn't include him. Yeah he's special. Got the
Ali's fiancĂ© decides he doesn't want to get married about
six weeks prior to their wedding. Glen is such a jerk that
he sends big brother Daniel to break the news. Glen can't
even begin to guess the consequence of that decision.
And Zennie is facing a decision and contemplating something
that will likely change her entire life.
You might think that Susan Mallery would be content with the
direction it seems her characters are headed but that just
wouldn't do. So along the way these sisters are going to
have moments that require sincere introspection to the point
of acknowledging their part in the detours of their lives.
Facing your own mistakes and owning up to them is a
difficult step. But in CALIFORNIA GIRLS Susan Mallery brings
such honesty that you will find yourself either nodding or
shaking your head. There are no guarantees in life or love.
The lesson in CALIFORNIA GIRLS is that what you get is the
result of your personal investment. Susan Mallery makes
these characters take a good look at themselves. Susan
Mallery once again creates very special and wondrous
characters that will have your feelings run the entire gamut.
The California sunshineâ€™s not quite so bright
for three sisters who get dumped in the same weekâ€¦
Finola, a popular LA morning-show host, is famously upbeat
until sheâ€™s blindsided on live TV by the news that her
husband is sleeping with a young pop sensation who has set
their affair to music. While avoiding the tabloids and
pretending sheâ€™s just fine, sheâ€™s crumbling inside,
desperate for him to come to his senses and for life to go
back to normal.
Zennieâ€™s breakup is no big loss. Although the world insists
she pair up, sheâ€™d rather be surfing. So agreeing to be the
surrogate for her best friend is a no-brainerâ€”after all, she
has an available womb and no other attachments to worry
about. Exceptâ€¦when everyone else, including her big sister,
thinks sheâ€™s making a huge mistake, being pregnant is a lot
lonelierâ€”and more complicatedâ€”than she imagined.
Never the tallest, thinnest or prettiest sister, Ali is used
to being overlooked, but when her fiancĂ© sends his
disapproving brother to call off the wedding, itâ€™s a new
low. And yet Daniel continues to turn up â€śfor support,â€ť
making Ali wonder if maybeâ€”for onceâ€”someone sees her in a
way no one ever has.
But side by side by side, these sisters will start over and
rebuild their lives with all the affection, charm and
laugh-out-loud humor that is classic Susan Mallery.
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