Title: California Girls by Susan Mallery
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 464 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
The California sunshine’s not quite so bright for three sisters
who get dumped in the same week…
Finola, a popular LA morning-show host, is famously upbeat until she’s blindsided on live TV by the news that her husband is sleeping with a young pop sensation who has set their affair to music. While avoiding the tabloids and pretending she’s just fine, she’s crumbling inside, desperate for him to come to his senses and for life to go back to normal.
Zennie’s breakup is no big loss. Although the world insists she pair up, she’d rather be surfing. So agreeing to be the surrogate for her best friend is a no-brainer—after all, she has an available womb and no other attachments to worry about. Except…when everyone else, including her big sister, thinks she’s making a huge mistake, being pregnant is a lot lonelier—and more complicated—than she imagined.
Never the tallest, thinnest or prettiest sister, Ali is used to being overlooked, but when her fiancé sends his disapproving brother to call off the wedding, it’s a new low. And yet Daniel continues to turn up “for support,” making Ali wonder if maybe—for once—someone sees her in a way no one ever has.
But side by side by side, these sisters will start over and rebuild their lives with all the affection, charm and laugh-out-loud humor that is classic Susan Mallery.
Featuring three sisters whose lives implode on the same day, California Girls by Susan Mallery is a poignant novel of self discovery, new beginnings and healing.
Finola Corrado is happily married to Felix and looking forward to taking their marriage to the next level. The host of a popular morning show, she is stunned when her husband confesses he is having an affair. Depressed and brokenhearted, Finola is hurt by the accusation she is partly responsible for the state of her marriage. She is not exactly the most empathetic woman and she is also a bit shallow. As the weeks pass and her heartbreak plays out in the public eye, will Finola continue to hope Felix will come back to her?
Ali Schmitt is blissfully planning her upcoming wedding to her fiancé Glen. Surprised to find Glen’s brother Daniel on her doorstep, she is shocked when he tells her Glen is calling off the wedding. Taken aback by his offer to help as she cancels the wedding preparations, she is grateful for his steadfast support. Reflecting on her relationship with Glen, Ali comes to a few unexpected conclusions about herself and her engagement. As she emerges from the painful break-up, she has newfound confidence that provides the boost she needs to go after what she wants. Ali is also a bit shaken by the discovery that her feelings for Daniel go deeper than friendship. Will Ali have the courage to see if she and Daniel have a future together?
Zennie is self-confident and content with her life. She has a wonderful circle of friends whom she sees quite often. She is physically active and enjoys running, hiking, surfing and rock climbing. Zennie dates but she is not really looking for a permanent relationship. When her latest romance fizzles, she decides to temporarily stop dating. The timing is fortuitous since her best friend Bernie and her husband Hayes ask her to be their surrogate. Zennie does not hesitate to say yes but once she is pregnant, she realizes she might not have given enough thought to how drastically her life will change. Someone from her past offers unexpected assistance but what will happen to their friendship once Zennie gives birth?
California Girls is an introspective, funny and heartwarming novel featuring three sisters who are facing personal challenges. The women are vibrantly developed but some of the sisters are more likable than others. The storyline is quite captivating with each of the women discovering hidden strengths as they overcome their respective challenges. The romantic element is subtle and enhances the sisters’ growth as they recover from their painful breakups. The story has plenty of heart and sparkling wit and Susan Mallery brings this thought-provoking novel to an emotional and uplifting conclusion.