“A refreshingly honest, realistic, and clever look at family, love, and the tangling up of several lives. You will laugh and nod your head in recognition, all while racing through the pages to see how it comes together. I absolutely adored this book!”
“[A] terrific novel...In The Stepmother, by Carrie Adams, Bea has to learn how to accept her ex’s soon-to-be second wife while she struggles to get over him, deal with her daughters, and get a life.”
“Adams injects her romantic soap opera with large dollops of pathos, culminating in a fairy-tale ending to this enjoyable and uplifting read.”
Adams follows up 2006's The Godmother with a perceptive chick noir, once again debunking the notion that everything's smooth sailing once you've found the love of your life. Tessa King (heroine of Adams's first novel) has finally nabbed hers: James, an older man with three charming daughters from a previous marriage. These daughters-including daddy's girl extraordinaire, 14-year-old Amber-don't seem so lovely once stepmother-in-waiting Tessa has to deal with their dirty school uniforms and petty jealousies. Nor did Tessa sign up for the emotional baggage of James's ex-wife, Bea, who broke James's heart. With all the angst, how's a girl supposed to plan the perfect white wedding? Meanwhile, Bea-who shares narration duty-still has a torch burning for James and has buried years of regret and guilt under binge eating and, soon, compulsive drinking. Family dramas and crises bring Bea and Tessa together with surprising results. Particularly refreshing are Tessa's and Bea's co-starring roles, which allows Adams to explore in sometimes painful detail how the real work begins once you've got the diamond ring. Fans of Marian Keyes and Emily Giffin will enjoy Adams's engrossing second outing. (Mar.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Bea, a divorced mother of three daughters, is overweight, drinks too much, and has issues with her mother. Tessa, a successful lawyer, is single, pushing 40, and beautiful. Unfortunately, they are both in love with the same man, Bea's ex, Jimmy, whom Tessa calls James. The names are just the beginning of the differences in their relationships. When James introduces Tessa to his daughters, the little girls are easygoing, but the 14-year-old seems a bit difficult. Tessa has great friends and amazing parents to ask for advice, and by taking their advice, using her godchildren as foils, and bribing the kids, she manages to earn their grudging respect. Meanwhile, Bea's life is sliding downhill rapidly. When disaster strikes, the whole family pulls together to work things out-but that leaves Tessa out in the cold. Or does it? Alternating between Tessa's and Bea's viewpoints, this fun sequel to The Godmother is a well- written, punchy fairy tale of a story. Highly recommended for all public libraries.
In this sequel to The Godmother (2007), British author Adams coasts from chick lit to mother-hen lit. Although Bea, 42, chose to break up her marriage to Jimmy, she still loves him. While they were married Bea worked as a journalist, but, with her mother's financial help, she has been able to stay home with her three daughters since the divorce. Everyone with whom Bea has remained close, including Jimmy and his family, considers her a perfect mother, but overweight Bea is desperately lonely and unhappy. Just as she finds the courage to tell Jimmy she wants to try again, she learns about Tessa, Jimmy's new love (Tessa calls him James). In her late 30s, Tessa is a slim and relatively glamorous record-company lawyer, but she's also devoted to her friends' children and less secure than she might appear. She assumes Bea is a superwoman/mom and struggles mightily to find a place for herself in James/Jimmy's children's lives. The younger two are emotionally open but 14-year-old Amber, torn by her mixed loyalties to her parents, resists. At first Bea wins readers' sympathies and Tessa seems the interloper, but the roles become less clear cut as Tessa genuinely embraces the children while Bea embraces a "miracle diet" which consists of eating nothing while drinking to unconsciousness. Amber, who has begun an innocent romance with Tessa's 17-year-old godson Caspar, covers for Bea until a crisis in Tessa's parents' lives brings Bea's secrets out into the open. Tessa learns the truth behind Bea's divorce: post-abortion guilt, offered as a less-than-convincing excuse for Bea's alcoholism. Newly self-sacrificing Tessa sends James/Jimmy back to an already reformed Bea to sort out their relationship onceand for all. Not to worry, he is quick to realize that there is "love" and then there is "in love."The platitudes and occasional preaching go down pretty smoothly thanks to Adams's sharp but good-natured wit. Agent: Dorian Karchmar/William Morris Agency