A debut novel by Juliet McDaniel is an absurd presentation of a socialite’s life, Maxine Simmons, in the late 60s – early 70s California – Palm Springs. Satirical, witty and VERY addicting – «Mr. & Mrs. American Pie» is a perfect summer read. Don’t need to look any longer if you are hunting for some books to take with you on summer vacations.
The year is 1969. Dick Nixon was just sworn in as the thirty-seventh President of the United States. Neil Armstrong just took one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind. And notable Palm Springs socialite Maxine Simmons just found out that her husband is leaving her for his twenty-two-year-old secretary.
After a public meltdown at Thanksgiving, Maxine finds herself not only divorced, but exiled to Scottsdale, Arizona. However, these desert boondocks will not be her end―only her Elba. The former beauty queen sets her eyes on a new crown: that of the Mrs. American Pie pageant, awarded to the nation’s best wife and mother.
Maxine only has one problem: to win the crown she’ll need to find―or build―a family of her own.
Disclaimer: *Thank you Netgalley and Inkshares for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the company or its affiliates in any way.*
After many years of strenuous work, Maxine finally reached the top of the elite society of Palm Springs. A perfect outfit, a perfect house, and a perfect life – or make it look perfect even if it is not. In Palm Springs it was all about the appearances and Maxine knew exactly how to play that game.
Until that Thanksgiving dinner, where Douglas, her husband, announced that he was leaving her. And not just leaving, there was also a 19-years-old secretary, who was pregnant with his baby. As Maxine’s world crumbled before her eyes, she had to start over in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Determined to get her revenge, Maxine started to plot her return.
The first person who she met in Arizona was Robert Hogarth, a bartender. Robert was marveled by Maxine:
«That woman can spin a yard, as we say back home in Illinois».
The second person to get bemused by Maxine was Charles Thomas Bronski. A teenager who lived in the same condo in Scottsdale and whose mother was never present. Thus, Charles was left to take care not only of himself but also his little sister, Dawn.
Charles’ first impression of Maxine Hortance was: «Strange blond lady. (strange = loud, cussing, and wearing her night clothes outside.»
This strange blond lady was not only running outside in her night clothes, she also devoured books full of Napoleon’s wisdom in her spare time. Maxine was coming back to Palm Springs with a BANG! Even if it involved lies, deceits and many acting lessons in her local church!
Hilariously absurd and satirical, Maxine Simmons was one of the most memorable characters, who made me laugh and “sad smile”, and feel very warm and fuzzy.
What one character will you never forget? And what books have you picked to read this summer?
Let me know in the comments down below!