Women and Books

Quick Reviews

I’m always reading. You, too? There’s something we have in common.

Also, I’ve worked with women and women’s issues for many years, so, naturally, when I read, I tend to read—but not always—books by or about women. Maybe you are a woman, or maybe you are a man, or a person of any gender, who loves books. Or just maybe, you’re someone who writes about women as if you really care, or who writes about a topic I am interested in that affects my family or myself. In that case, I’ll dive in and see if the book warrants more attention.

Of course, I’m also a writer and have worked for many years with literary organizations, so I do know quite a few writers and I’m always interested in the how, what, and why of writing. You may find here an interview, a quick Q and A, or some other tidbit about books and the writing of them.

On this page, you will find some quick notes about what I’ve been reading lately and what I think of it. I do write longer reviews for literary journals now and then, so you may also find some links to those.

Just because I review a book doesn’t mean I love it. It does mean that something about the book, the author, or the subject matter caught my attention. See something you like? Something that piques your interest? Or something with which you disagree? Please do leave me a comment about it. And, please, share anything of interest on your own social media using the buttons below.

Bonding over past and present wounds, self-realizations transform the three heroines in a trifecta of twelve-step new age therapy that only L.A. can provide. In a city where discarded muses are a dime a dozen, All the Girls in Town explores the cost of loving the wrong person and the true power of friendship in reclaiming the self.

THREE SMART, SEXY – AND SLIGHTLY SCREWED-UP – WOMEN JOIN FORCES TO WREAK VENGEANCE ON THE RISING ROCK STAR WHO HURT THEM ALL.
Dani, Red, and Sasha have absolutely nothing in common, except the trail of tears bad boy rocker Peter left in his wake. That is, until Dani starts a blog about killing her ex and unwittingly sets the wheels in motion for the women’s paths to collide.

Staci Greason writes memorable women and a humdinger of a plot about three women worked over by the same man who come together to give him his comeuppance. A pregnant New Age yogi, a counselor with a grudge and a colorful past, and a woman with a racist dad, an addicted sister, and a niece who need her, come together to deliver a knockout blow to one narcissistic rock star who has done them all wrong. Along the way, they get some answers—but not the ones they expected to find.

The thing is, the author starts out with a somewhat gimmicky plot but ends up writing some heartfelt scenes and a bit of wisdom about how women are put upon and let themselves be used by men. The author says she was influenced by the “Me, too” movement, and we definitely see a form of feminism at play in the determination of all three women to find their own path through life, while also refusing to be victimized.

Some of the most defiant words and acts are committed by Red, the rocker turned counselor who sets much of the plot in motion. She has a strong point of view:

“Men went to war over the slightest insult or transgression. Kicking someone’s ass, using physical force over another, was the king of beasts’ job. Aggression was unseemly in the feminine kind. But it wasn’t. It was glorious. Teaching a client, who had been punched or kicked, raped, verbally abused, traumatized, to fight back, even emotionally, was rewarding.”

Dani, addicted to food, goes about her life far more quietly, but she has a quirk that’s just as defiant: She writes a blog in which she kills Peter every day in ever more gruesome and inventive ways.

But perhaps the most heartfelt scenes are those between the put-upon Dani and her niece, Violet, who battles her misogynistic and racist grandpa, Jack, but cries often when her mother deserts her. Violet is strong, and honest, and hopelessly lost, at first. Dani is able to leave her own food addiction aside long enough to reach the child and give herself someone to fight for.

And Sasha, the yogi, is perhaps the most vulnerable of all—pregnant, alone, and craving meat that brands her a vegan hypocrite.

Greason writes some sparkling sentences and sincere themes. In the end, it’s her willingness to let her characters be vulnerable in often desperate ways that makes this more than a feel-good revenge tale from the lipstick feminism aisle. They’re desperate and, they find, they’re stronger together. What a good lesson for lovable Violet.


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