Synopses & Reviews
In Louise Shaffer’s delightfully charming new novel, a hopeless romantic (and author adrift) searches for a happy ending—and decides to write her own love story.
After the success of her first novel, Love, Max—an irresistibly funny look at divorce as seen through a dog’s eyes—Francesca’s fictional saga becomes real when her sexy photographer husband bails on her. The good news is that Francesca gets custody of their apartment and their dog—an adoring scamp who has mastered the art of unconditional love. Still, a girl and her dog have to eat, so a desperate search for income leads Francesca to Chicky, a spunky, red-haired octogenarian who wants Francesca to write the memoirs of her parents, Joe and Ellie, who toured the vaudeville circuit in the early 1920s.
Francesca is reluctant to take the job, but Chicky’s tales soon lure her into a showbiz era as irresistible and unlikely as the love story that unfolds. As she re-creates Joe and Ellie’s story, Francesca reflects, with hilarious honesty, on her own childhood and marriage—and discovers how to put the pieces of her life back together in a way that redefines herself and the true meaning of family and love.
"For a while, author Francesca Sewell was living her dream: her first novel was a hit, she married a handsome up-and-coming photographer, and she became the toast of her new Upper East Side neighborhood (where the happy couple bought and furnished their dream co-op). Three years on, however, she's struggling with her second book, her husband is distant, and her glamorous social life has grown uncomfortable (as has her wardrobe). When she's dumped by both her husband and her agent, Francesca is left with Annie, their rescue dog, to confront the downside of success. Desperate for work, she agrees to ghostwrite the family history of Chicky, the globe-trotting 90-year-old daughter of two 1920s vaudeville stars. Predictably but satisfactorily, Francesca comes to terms with her (and her parents') divorce by investigating the story of Chicky and her folks, in the process discovering the love story she'd been seeking all along. Shaffer (Serendipity) is at her best telling Chicky's story, a throwback to potboilers of the 1920s, giving this single-gal redemption story unexpected depth." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Shaffer's warm, wonderfully inspiring novel follows a woman who has lost her way but just might discover who she's meant to be.
About the Author
Louise Shaffer is the author of Family Acts,, The Ladies of Garrison Gardens and The Three Miss Margarets. A graduate of Yale Drama School, she has written for television, and has appeared on Broadway, in TV movies, and in daytime dramas, earning an Emmy for her work on Ryan’s Hope. Shaffer and her husband live in the Lower Hudson Valley.