Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs by Matthew Dicks

The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs by Matthew Dicks is part of the SheReads Fall book selections.     SheReads is a community of bloggers that as a group help promote specific books.   We share reviews, thoughts, and our feelings after reading books suggested to us by the wonderful people who run the SheReads Organization. 

Published September 8, 2015 by St. Martin’s Press

Caroline Jacobs is a wimp, someone who specializes in the suffering of tiny indignities in silence. And the big ones, too. But when the twinset wearing president of the local Parent Teacher Organization steps out of line one too many times, Caroline musters the courage to assert herself. With a four-letter word, no less.

Caroline's outburst has awakened something in her. Not just gumption, but a realization that the roots of her tirade can be traced back to something that happened to her as a teenager, when her best friend very publicly betrayed her. So, with a little bit of bravery, Caroline decides to go back to her home town and tell off her childhood friend. She busts her daughter out of school, and the two set off to deliver the perfect comeback . . . some twenty-five years later. But nothing goes as planned. Long buried secrets rise to the surface, and Caroline finds she has to face much more than one old, bad best friend.

My Thoughts…

Quiet, meek Caroline blows up at a PTO meeting.  This starts a chain of events that are so not Caroline’s way.      She decides to go back to her hometown and tell her high school bully off.   What happens is sometimes funny, sometimes serious, and always very entertaining. 

What I loved most about this story is the relationship between Caroline and her daughter.   At the time of beginning of the journey Caroline and her daughter were barely talking, they were juts co-existing.   During the road trip to Caroline’s mom’s house their dynamic changed.   It starts with Caroline opening up to Polly, her daughter.   She shares her history and what made her into the mousy woman that she is currently.    It was nice that Polly was a captive audience; it is hard to get away in a moving car.   By sharing her stories Polly starts sharing some of her stories.     They both connect in a way that they may not have had they not taken this road trip together.  

The fact that she wanted to tell her bully off proved to me that she was not as meek as she thought she was.   Telling a bully off is probably something all of us have wanted to do once upon a time or at least we would like to go back and change something in our past.    The fact that Caroline shares her plan with Polly and Polly jumps on board with the plan makes it all the more likely to happen.    While you will have to read the book to find out how the plan plays out, let me tell you that I did not see what happen coming.    I loved how Polly played into it.

I was intrigued when this came across my email.   Very rarely do I see a book written by a man from a woman’s point of view.    Matthew Dick did a great job of being a good mom, wife, daughter, sister, and best friend.    He was able to show all the different sides of Caroline and not making her seem like a whiny done wrong woman.    I found this so refreshing. 

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