Bawdy, occasionally lewd and often funny, this follow-up to Jennifer Johnson is Sick of Being Single (2009) returns us to the screwball adventures of a likable screw-up.
Jennifer has landed her man, handsome Brad Keller, heir to a Midwestern department store. The novel opens as the happy couple leaves for their honeymoon on St. Johns, where everything goes wrong. Flight delays, luggage lost and food poisoning, all in the first 24 hours, set the tone for the rest of their marriage. When they arrive home in Minnesota, Ma and Pa Keller have a surprise for the young couple—they bought them the McMansion right next door—and Mother Keller has thoughtfully decorated the whole thing in pastels and ceramic figurines. She also hired them a maid, Bi’ch, an elderly Hmong woman who lives in the guesthouse with her entire extended family. Jennifer is livid, Brad could care less, but in the end, how could she turn down a $3 million lakefront home? Then, Brad breaks the news: He and his sister, Sarah, are to compete to inherit Keller’s when their father retires. Brad and Jennifer must become the perfect church-attending, Republican-voting, golf-playing, pastel-wearing (Jennifer only) couple. With the help of her best friend, Christopher, Jennifer (a once aspiring writer, sweatshirt-wearing Everywoman) is transformed into someone who could’ve starred on Dynasty. Alas, everything always goes wrong (for a variety of reasons, not least of which is sabotage at the hands of the evil Mother Keller). Dinner guests are poisoned, bodily fluids run rampant and her $10,000 refrigerator won’t stop belittling her in Japanese. And to top it off, she and Brad don’t seem to love each other anymore, if they ever did. Next up: Operation Break the Prenup. Some of McElhatton’s conventions—the gay best friend, the endless shopping and makeover scenes—are happily redeemed by her wicked sense of slapstick comedy.
A cross between chick-lit fare and Bridesmaids.