After months of playing the lottery and hoping for an uptick in her dog-boarding business, Janet’s friend Annie must face the inevitable: the bank is foreclosing on her family farm. But thanks to the Rejected Writers’ Book Club, Annie doesn’t have to face it alone. With just a few weeks to raise the $20,000 that she and her fifty rescue dogs need to avoid becoming homeless, the writers need a fund-raiser, and fast. Much to Janet’s horror, Doris has another crazy plan.
In a moment of inspiration, their fearless leader declares a solution: a musical extravaganza. No one in the group has ever produced a musical, but Doris will not be deterred—they’ll write it together. And with Flora, who has never sung a note in her life, as the lead and Janet as their reluctant director—along with a hypochondriac costume designer, a pyrotechnics enthusiast, and Janet’s very pregnant daughter pitching in—what could possibly go wrong?
To produce a miracle for Annie, Janet and her friends will work around the clock holding auditions, concocting elaborate costumes, and getting a little too close to blowing themselves up—but will it be enough?
About the Author
Suzanne Kelman is the author of the Southlea Bay series and an award-winning screenwriter. Born in Scotland and raised in the United Kingdom, she now lives in the United States in her own version of Southlea Bay, Washington, with her husband, Matthew; her son, Christopher; and a menagerie of rescued animals. She enjoys tap dancing, theater, and high teas, and she can sing the first verse of “Puff, the Magic Dragon” backward.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
One of the most ridiculous, fun and wholly unrealistic stories I have read in a long time, that surprises readers with an unexpected depth of emotion and solidarity when one of the members of this little club is in trouble. Not to put too fine a point on it, but at one point or another, each of the many characters in this book has their moment of crisis: some simple, others not so, but the varying strengths and quirks in this group show the power of speaking a thought into the universe. See, the women of Southlea Bay are, at least in this group, a bunch of rejected writers: writers who demand and celebrate each rejection with panache and style, taking no notice of the fact that (at least from what I saw here) there isn’t a truly original or workable idea to be found. Oh that’s not to say that they are terrible, but particularly with the building of the ‘script” for the benefit to help save one of their member’s farm and house, the near full on rip off of The Wizard of Oz, and the justifications that make it different are as cringe-worthy as they are utterly ridiculous and funny. Not knowing what to expect from my first encounter, there was plenty of information and references explaining the first in the series, and the character of Janet – the outwardly most ‘normal’ of the bunch, with her inability to say “no” and a husband who just laughs at her frustrations and concerns…. Herding Cats comes to mind, clearly and completely appropriate. With everything you shouldn’t do to create a play, a retiring and rather ‘out of her time’ lead actress meant to sing her way through the moments, a stalwart and never take no ringleader and plenty of soft moments where the concern for Annie and her farm strike every character, it was hard to put down and harder to not wonder what will happen next. These ladies of the Rejected Writers club are funny, caring, accepting and above all wholly committed to their group, their friendships and their town. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Rejected Writers Take the Stage is the second book in Suzanne Kelman' s Southlea Bay series. Doris Newberry has summoned the Rejected Writers book club members with an urgent plea. This time it is for sweet group member Annie, who has turned her family farm into a home for rescue dogs as well as for dog boarding. With a slump in the economy, Annie has gotten behind $20,000 in mortgage payments and the bank is threatening to foreclose. Doris is determined the group will rally and save Annie's home. And how else to do so but put on a show. Janet Johnson, the main voice of the story, is determined to just say no to whatever is asked of her, but when the question comes in such a fashion as to make no actually an agreement, she finds herself as director of this ragtag group. Throw in an unexpected visit from her very pregnant daughter, Stacy, and a vamp attempting to move in on sweet Flora's boyfriend, and the stage is set for high comedy and low drama. Will all their thespian efforts be enough to save the farm, or will there be another answer? I thoroughly enjoyed this laugh-out-loud funny tale. Warm insights, wacky occurrences, and wonderful characters are found in every chapter. I look forward to further adventures in Southlea Bay and I do recommend this book.