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My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Book Review: Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perrotta

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1501144022/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=onderherose-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=1501144022&linkId=98b0ce6522aae9bc2fd0a8552cda3854
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Synopsis (From Goodreads):
Eve Fletcher is trying to figure out what comes next. A forty-six-year-old divorcee whose beloved only child has just left for college, Eve is struggling to adjust to her empty nest when one night her phone lights up with a text message. Sent from an anonymous number, the mysterious sender tells Eve, “U R my MILF!” Over the months that follow, that message comes to obsess Eve. While leading her all-too-placid life—serving as Executive Director of the local senior center by day and taking a community college course on Gender and Society at night—Eve can’t curtail her own interest in a porn website called MILFateria.com, which features the erotic exploits of ordinary, middle-aged women like herself. Before long, Eve’s online fixations begin to spill over into real life, revealing new romantic possibilities that threaten to upend her quiet suburban existence.

Meanwhile, miles away at the state college, Eve’s son Brendan—a jock and aspiring frat boy—discovers that his new campus isn’t nearly as welcoming to his hard-partying lifestyle as he had imagined. Only a few weeks into his freshman year, Brendan is floundering in a college environment that challenges his white-dude privilege and shames him for his outmoded, chauvinistic ideas of sex. As the New England autumn turns cold, both mother and son find themselves enmeshed in morally fraught situations that come to a head on one fateful November night.


Review:
My hobby as a book blogger has made me keenly aware of newly released books.  I found out about Mrs. Fletcher, by Tom Perrotta, while I was researching book events in my area.  The premise was intriguing:  how does an older, divorced woman react as her only child goes off to college?  I think this book is well-written, but sometimes resorts to tired cliches when it comes to women.

What I Liked:
Audio Performances:
There are two main characters in this book:  Mrs. Fletcher, played by Carrie Coon, and Brendan, played by Finn Wittrock.  As performed by Coon, Eve seemed like a friendly person who hides an inner struggle of loneliness, and curiosity.  Wittrock's performance is spot on as a bewildered jock who discovers (once he goes away to college) that he is not the center of the universe.

There are several more performers, as the story viewpoint shifts between many characters.  I appreciated the extra effort it must have taken to bring all these performances together.

Transitions:
Both Eve and her son Brendan are going through huge life transitions.  Eve is suddenly an empty nester and must decide how her life moves on.  Brendan is beginning the confusing metamorphosis from teen to adult.  I think both of these journeys are compelling, but the author did an especially good job of capturing Brendan's struggle. 

Brendan starts the novel treating women as trashy sex objects and takes these attitudes with him to college.  But, the young women at his new school are more assertive and refuse to put up with being disrespected.  This comes as a shock to Brendan, and really affects his self-image.  I thought this was very powerful.


What I Didn't Like:
Eve's Journey:
I was less impressed with how the author approached Eve's story.  Tom Perrotta seems to stick to some old cliches about older, divorced women.  They all must be lonely, and desperate for human contact.  With this as the premise, the author puts Eve in a variety of situations where she is more and more obsessed with sex.  There is a porn addiction, an exploration of her sexual orientation, and an obsession with a young man who is her son's age.  The ending is especially condescending as she is finally happy when...she is in a relationship!  I would have been so pleased if Eve had found a way to be content and alone.  Not everyone needs to be paired up to be happy.



                                                               

Rating: 





Release Date:  August 1st, 2017

Genre:  General Fiction

Publisher:  Scribner

Page Length:  309 Pages

Source:  Public Library

Format:  Audio Book

Performed by: Carrie Coon, Finn Wittrock, Alexandra Allwine, JD Jackson, Nicky Maindiratta, Jen Richards, Sarah Steele, and Aaron Tveit

Recommendation:  This was an entertaining book, but had some situations that were extremely unlikely.  A good library read/listen.
 
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