Friday, June 14, 2013

Elizabeth the First Wife by Lian Dolan

Elizabeth the First WifeAuthor: Lian Dolan
Publication: May 7, 2013
By: Prospect Park Books
Genre: Adult
3.5 Stars!

Elizabeth Lancaster, an English professor at Pasadena City College, finds her perfectly dull but perfectly orchestrated life upended one summer by three men: her movie-star ex-husband, a charming political operative, and William Shakespeare. Until now, she’d been content living in the shadow of her high-profile and highly accomplished family. Then her college boyfriend and one-time husband of seventeen months, A-list action star FX Fahey, shows up with a job offer that she can’t resist, and Elizabeth’s life suddenly gets a whole lot more interesting. She’s off to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for the summer to make sure FX doesn’t humiliate himself in an avant-garde production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

As she did so skillfully with her first novel, Helen of Pasadena, which spent more than a year on the Los Angeles Times bestseller list, Lian Dolan spins a lively, smart, and very funny tale of a woman reinventing her life in unexpected ways.

My Thoughts

Reading Shakespeare has always felt a little like reading a foreign language to me so whenever the Bard's work is presented in a fresh, modern way, it's like having my own translator. (A little Leonardo DiCaprio doesn't hurt either.) 

What I Liked: Clever storyline, engaging characters, witty banter, and the book within a book that breaks down Shakespearean couples is hilarious! 

Elizabeth is a self-sufficient MC who doesn't let her overbearing, albeit well intentioned family, deter her from what she wants. FX is the stereotypical Hollywood star but we do get glimpses of his vulnerability and it's in those moments we can see how Elizabeth could've fallen in love with him in the first place and how easily she could do it again. Maybe.

I really enjoyed the romance that developed because not only was it relevant (technology can be a wonderful thing) but it was also believable and easily relateable. Did I mention there were avacados and kissing? ;)

What Left Me Wanting More: Most of the background information that was interspersed throughout the story was helpful, however, there were parts that I found a little distracting.  

Favorite Quote: "My goal is to be completely self-sustaining in two years. If I could only figure out how to grow Oreos. Do you garden?"

Final Verdict: Makes for a fun summer read!

About the Author
Lian Dolan is a writer, producer, talk show host, podcast pioneer, social media consultant and author of the new novel, Helen of Pasadena. She currently writes and produces the weekly podcast and blog The Chaos Chronicles, a humorous look at modern motherhood. She is also a regular weekly contributor to as a parenting expert. A decade ago, Lian created Satellite Sisters, an award-winning radio talk show, blog and website with her four real sisters. From 2000 to 2009, Satellite Sisters won eight Gracie Allen Awards for Excellence in Women's Media and enjoyed a nationwide audience of a million listeners a week. Lian is also the co-author of Satellite Sisters UnCommon Senses, published in 2001 by Riverhead (sales to date: 75,000). Her writing has appeared in many national magazines, including regular columns in O, The Oprah Magazine and Working Mother and essays in such anthologies as Chicken Soup for the Sisters Soul. TV appearances have included The Today Show, CBS Sunday Morning and The Oprah Winfrey Show. She is a popular speaker for groups and corporations, always using humor as hook.

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