The Real Liddy James by Anne-Marie Casey
"Forty-four, fit, and fabulous, Liddy James is one of New York's top divorce attorneys, a bestselling author, and a mother of two. Armed with a ruthless reputation and a capsule wardrobe, she glides through the courtrooms and salons of the Manhattan elite with ease. What's her secret? Liddy will tell you: "I don't do guilt!" This is the last thing literature professor Peter James wants to hear. Devastated by his divorce from Liddy six years earlier, the two have a tangled history his new partner, Rose, is only just sorting out. But Rose is a patient woman with faith in a well-timed miracle and she's determined to be sympathetic to Peter's plight. Together, Liddy, Peter, and Rose have formed a modern family to raise Liddy and Peter's truculent teen and Liddy's darling, if fatherless, six-year-old. But when Rose announces she's pregnant, Liddy's nanny takes flight, the bill for a roof repair looms, and a high-profile divorce case becomes too personal, Liddy realizes her days as a guilt-free woman might be over. Following a catastrophic primetime TV interview, she carts her sons back to Ireland to retrace their family's history. But marooned in the Celtic countryside things are still far from simple, and Liddy will have to come to terms with much more than a stormy neighbor and an unorthodox wedding if she ever hopes to rediscover the real Liddy James."
I think I'm about as opposite from Liddy James as is possible! She's from New York; I've been there once. She's a divorced high profile attorney, and I've been married for 18 years, am a stay-at-home mom/substitute at the school, and I've never been in a court room. She has red hair and I'm blonde (no blonde jokes, please :). However, we are both mothers, and that definitely counts for something, right? Liddy may not be likable or relatable all the time, but she is an interesting character. Even though I don't have much in common with her, there were still a few times that I could relate to Liddy. I thought she was well written and developed. She was not my favorite character though. Rose felt like she could be my friend. She was much more on my level. I liked her a lot. Whereas Liddy felt contrived, Rose felt real. I definitely related to Rose and her concerns for Matty and Cal, and wanting to stay at home. Peter was a great character as well. You could just imagine his eye-rolls a few times with the women in his life and all their drama. He may not have been perfect, but who is? Rose and Liddy weren't perfect either, and that's what made them more believable as characters. I really liked the first 3/4 of this book. I liked the writing and the flow and the characters. I liked the story line and the dialogue. Then the last 1/4 of the book came along. It was ok, but it just didn't seem to fit. It was kind of a whole different story. I get that it was a last minute rash decision that Liddy made, and maybe it was necessary, but it just.....well, it was ok, but anticlimactic. I'm still glad I finished, but I had high hopes for a better ending. This would make a good book group pick, I think. It could make for some good discussion!
Rating: R (There is little to no profanity and no violence. There are, however, some adult themes and issues addressed. "Intimacy" is talked about and discussed, but there are no scenes. There is an affair, divorce, and drugs are briefly discussed.)
Recommendation: Adult (May be ok for some 18+)
Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.