Genre: Adult Contemporary
Recommended Age: 18+ (discussion of sex, mature themes, and some cursing.)
Favorite Quote: “Of course Rose knew that this Liddy James was a brand – the Superlawyer! Supermother! Barbara had described – and her success was based on this image of Supercompetence! that allowed her to dispense advice on chat shows, represent celebrity clients, and write best-selling books.”
I was provided a free copy of this book by Dayle (@literaryllama) for the purposes of writing this review. This did not influence my decisions about this book at all. This book review was my first guest review for Dayle! Go check it out over there if you want at http://www.theliteraryllama.com/single-post/2017/04/26/REVIEW-The-Real-Liddy-James-by-Anne-Marie-Casey
Liddy James is forty-four, fit, and fabulous. She’s one of New York’s top divorce attorneys, she’s a bestselling author, and a mother of two. With her ruthless reputation of being a shark and her capsule wardrobe, she glides through the courtrooms and salons with ease. Her secret? She doesn’t do guilt! However, when Rose, her ex-husband’s new girlfriend, announces that she’s pregnant, Liddy’s nanny quits, the roof starts leaking, a high-profile divorce becomes too personal, and more, Liddy will have to decide whether she really can continue to not do guilt any longer or if she’ll have to face the skeletons in her closet head on.
For the most part, this book was very enjoyable. The book offered insight on how even the most controlling person can easily lose control. There is never such a thing as having total control in this life. I also really enjoyed how the POV switched between the two main characters, Liddy and Rose, and how the reader is privileged to hearing the story from two different sides. Sadly while I have some good things to say about this book, such as it’s an empowering read for women and it maintains a good deal of realism with custody issues and legal matters, I have a lot of bad things to say about it as well.
While I enjoyed the book for the most part, towards the end of the story I found myself very bored with the tale. The pacing grows slower and slower as your progress through the book. The book also seems to have great plot development until you get towards the end. Certain important elements to the overall plot seem to be horridly rushed towards the end and there isn’t much harmony with the beginning of the book. Yes, I love plots that harmonize. I’m that weirdo who was disappointed by the lack of harmony between the original trilogy in Star Wars and the chronological first three movies of the series. I feel that a really good story will call back to the beginning of the story and there will be a sound resolution. This book ends rather abruptly and it’s very upsetting that you aren’t privy to the end of Liddy James. Maybe the author wanted to leave room for a sequel, but this book didn’t read like a series. It read like a stand-alone so hopefully it will remain as such.
Another one of my complaints was that while Rose and Liddy were well developed characters for the most part, the other characters dulled in comparison. I feel the story could have benefitted from some more background information on Peter, Matty, Cal, etc. so that their actions would be better understood. Sometimes when any character outside of Liddy or Rose acted in what I would define as a strange manner, I had to stop and wonder why they did such an odd thing. For instance, Matty is Liddy’s teenage son and while I could figure out why he did some of things he did in the book, I had to wonder why he did others when they seemed so out of character for him.
The last complaint I had was the biggest complaint I’ve had about this book. The book was not very easy to read in certain areas. Liddy is a divorce attorney and a lot of her story revolved around her office environment, which I could understand completely. Liddy is a workaholic and I wouldn’t want a big chunk of her life to not be wrote about. However, a LOT of legal terms were used and a lot of the jargon would easily go over a good amount of people’s heads. I work and have worked in Courthouses and the lawyer talk still went over my head. Sometimes I would have to reread the passages and sometimes I just completely gave up and skipped sections, hoping that what was said was not very pertinent to the story.
Overall, I enjoyed the book and I feel that this book would be a good read for someone who loved adult contemporary novels and loved books about strong, independent women then this book is for you! If you like romances, then this book might be for you as well since there are slight romances throughout the book. Or if you’re someone whose looking to take a break from the YA fantasy/dystopian genre, then this book might be a nice break for you! While I had a lot of complaints about it my overall enjoyment of the book and the fact that the book was so insightful and inspiring outweighed a lot of the nit-picking I had with this book, and I think it would be like that for you as well.