consider myself to be a reader of discriminating and eclectic tastes. Favorite
authors? James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Anton Chekhov, Agatha Christie, John Irving
(and even Jude Deveraux, I guiltily admit). Recently, Ive added Warren Adler
to that list! Granted, he definitely is no Hemingway in terms of talent and lasting
literary value, but he knows how to write an engrossing read. Hes not very
well-known (he seems to have been more popular in the 70s and 80s), but definitely
One of his old novels, The War of the
Roses, somehow managed to find its way into my familys bookshelves,
and, bored one day this summer, I decided to pick it up. I didnt expect
much, and so I was very pleasantly surprised. I couldnt put it down; it
was a fascinating story of the worst divorce imaginable and a great read. So I
decided to try some of his other novels. I managed to snag a galley of his not-yet-released
novel Mourning Glory and it was even better than Roses.
The great plot is what hooked me in at first. Its
about an attractive Palm Beach woman in her thirties Grace Sorentino who is fired
from her job at Saks, and, with little money and a teenage daughter who wants
the better things in life, devises a plan to lure a rich widower to her side.
By going to funerals of their recently deceased wives, of all things! Of course,
things dont quite turn out as planned (she didnt factor falling in
love with her prey into the equation) and Grace, the heroine of the novel, must
deal with the consequences.
has romance, humor, drama, a wonderful portrayal of a mother-daughter relationship,
and even steamy sex scenes to spice things up a bit. Not to mention a neo-Nazi
skinhead! Adler, an older middle-aged man, somehow manages to make his two main
female characters, Grace and her daughter, very real and vibrant, and he really
seems to have a lot of insight into the female mind and psyche.
liked the fact that Adler wrote about people with flaws, whose lives were far
from perfect but whom you empathized with because of those flaws. Mourning
Glory is definitely not your typical romance, and it was refreshing! I wouldve
liked more development of the daughter Jackie, however. She was a very interesting
character, in my opinion, and more on her teenage, tortured soul wouldve
been welcome. But Im being very nitpicky there! Theres not much to
complain about. In short, if youre looking for a great and fast-paced read
that would be perfect on a summer vacation or on the beach, or anywhere really,
you cant go wrong with Mourning Glory by Warren Adler.