Monday, January 30, 2012

Wife-in-Law by Haywood Smith ****

Betsy Calliston grew up taking care of her mother, a hoarder who never left the house. Her father left when Betsy was eight, but the divorce judge awarded custody her mother. Thus began Betsy's Candide-like adventures where her polite tea party is picketed and she is arrested for assaulting the protesters, her best friend's husband get shot and later fatally sick, and her cheating husband leaves and marries her best friend (thus the title: Wife-in-Law).

This latest "bad things happen to good people" novel by Haywood Smith follows sweet, optimistic, innocent, self-effacing Betsy from crisis to crisis, until the string of evil abruptly ends, and, as if my magic, everything is wonderful. Betsy and her girlfriend Kat get makeovers at fancy salons, go shopping at expensive department stores, and enjoy a "Cougar" cruise. (Spoiler Alert:) In the end, Betsy's mother even fully recovers and her long-lost father returns.

Until the final chapterS of fairytale bliss, the book is a page turner. At the end, diabetics must be warned to keep their insulin close at hand.

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