Monday, February 9, 2015

New Uses for Old Boyfriends: A Novel by Beth Kendrick

New Uses for Old Boyfriends: A Novel.  Beth Kendrick. Penguin Publishing Group (USA). February 2015. 336 pp.  ISBN#: 9780451465863.

Lila and her mother Daphne know everything worth knowing about fashion design and style.  It’s a world filled with beauty and glamour but a world fraught with uncertainty. Lila painfully discovers how fleeting wealth and success can be.  A TV star of a home shopping cable affiliate in Philadelphia and married to a successful man, Lila hears her husband announce he is leaving her for another woman and she also loses her job.  Boom!  What else can she do but return home to Black Dog Bay and begin anew! 

At first Lila is humiliated as she must confess her demise to all of her past friends, including some guys she dated years earlier.  Then her life is overcome by the discovery that her father death left her mother penniless and that Daphne has charged her way into immense debt.  There are some many funny moments in the exchanges between mother and daughter as Daphne fluctuates between despair about the loss of her fashionable collections, which she never wears by the way, and her new joie de vivant attitude.  Eat those deliciously fattening chocolates and toss back that mood-lifting zesty wine!

Lila, however, comes up with a brilliant plan that grows into a larger vision.  Should she sell Daphne’s home and all of her charged goodies on EBay?  Necessity rules this decision.  The remainder of the story is delightful as Lila and Daphne begin to plan and discover that there’s a huge demand for selling vintage clothing and jewelry.  Thus the rest of the novel awaits the pleasure of readers as the road to running a successful boutique, with the assistance of certain males, continues.

In the process, Lila begins to realize that the men who are pursuing her have different motives.  All in all, the disasters that have molded Lila into the strong woman she is today enable her to perceive what is romantically possible, what should be deemed as friendship and nothing more, and what is truly a romantic connection that is also friendship and delight in sharing “all” of her in mind and spirit as well as body. 

New Uses… is a delightfully clever read that is pure entertainment, with a few eye-openers to add to its punch!  Nicely crafted, Beth Kendrick!

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