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This darkly funny novel describes Wendy Sinclairs spin-crazy life in Las Vegas after she impulsively decides to not return to Houston following a bizarre girls weekend in 2005. The confused, unhappy 45-year-old newlywed soon rents a ramshackle apartment in a building filled with misfits; wallows in a blur of spas, malls and buffets, and, ultimately, becomes a designer of cocktail waitress uniforms and an Ann-Margret impersonator in a casino show with Elvis.
She also hangs with some pretty colorful characters. Paulas her bold, brassy glamazon BFF whos looser than a Casino Royale slot. Maxines her saucy former-Tropicana-showgirl boss. Paige and Serena are two twenty-something blackjack dealers she shops, gambles, and clubs up a storm with. Major crushes on a hunky pilot and sexy former rock star are also part of the mix. The phone fights with Roger, Wendys workaholic husband waiting impatiently in Houston, are louder and more raucous than a hot craps table at Caesars! Does she go back to him, or does her midlife crisis become a midlife makeover?
Written in the first person so that you hear the main characters voice, inner thoughts and feelings, author Irene Woodbury allows the reader to experience the events first hand along with the main character, Wendy Sinclair. Writing in the first person is difficult and for a debut novel the author took on a really difficult task. However, it does help the reader identify better with the main character and experience some of what she is going through along with her.
The author brings to light many issues that others face today. The time span is much longer than one month and the characters after a while do make you angry. There are times I want to shake Wendy and tell her to grow up. She seems to be reacting to losing her job and having to move to a place she feels uncomfortable in. Never really trying to assimilate in her new environment and knowing that Roger had his new job and had to complete his project, you understand her frustrations about feeling alone and not wanting to be cast as a stilted figure who has to follow the rules of those in her community. But up and leaving does not sound like the right solution. It is more like escaping reality and not facing the problems.
Midlife crisis or married to the wrong man from the start? Seven-year relationship and a fast marriage that turned into a two-year separation. End result: What happens in Vegas there stays there and I wont divulge the ending. Humorous, sad, interesting, enlightening and quite different, to say the least.
This book is fast-paced, funny and definitely a quick read. This book gets 4 and a half stars.
Does anyone really know when theyre in the middle of a midlife crisis, or do they just convince themselves they really need that little red sports car in the garage, that gleaming new Harley in the driveway, that extreme facelift that makes you look like a jackal, or that disastrous fling with the next-door neighbor that makes road-kill of two marriages and scars a bunch of kids for life? Is having a midlife crisis like being a teenager all over again -- when everybody knows youre in the throes of adolescence but you?
It was hard to answer these questions because I didnt know how I felt about anything these days. Waking up in Vegas every morning made the ongoing chaos easier to take. After all, everyone is confused here. And nobody seems very concerned about it. Sin City has fewer shrinks per capita than almost any city in America. Its the least introspective place in the world. In Compulsion Central, who cares about the past or the future? All that matters is Now. Your goal is to get away from your life, forget your problems, avoid the questions. Why waste time probing into the depths of your poor, tortured soul when you could be throwing the come-out roll at a hot craps table, vegetating in front of a loose slot, scarfing down five desserts at Le Village Buffet, clubbing till dawn, or shopping your brains out?
Boys and girls, repeat after me. Introspection is boring. Introspection is tedious. Introspection is frowned upon here.
But I didnt have to delve very deeply within myself to know I felt lost without my job, my marriage was unraveling before my eyes, and I was this close to having an affair with a stud muffin pilot. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, maybe it is a midlife crisis?