The Other Woman, by Sandie Jones

Short Take: You can’t see red flags if you’re wearing rose-colored glasses.

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Can we all take a moment to appreciate fictional terrible mothers, and all the contributions they have made to modern entertainment? I haven’t done much (read: any) research on the rise in popularity of stories based on horrific mothers who make monsters of their sons, but I think that Psycho was the one that started it all. Although, I suppose I could make a case for the idea going as far back as Oedipus, right? But wait, he didn’t know that the hot queen he was banging was his mom, so maybe not? Anyway, the point stands that crazy mothers make for compelling stories.

Which leads me to The Other Woman, which begins with Emily, our heroine, meeting the man of her dreams, Adam. The pair have a short but intense courtship, with Adam checking every box on Emily’s Perfect Man List (all women have those, right?), except for one teensy tiny little flaw in their bliss: Pammie, Adam’s mother, does not want Emily in Adam’s life.

It doesn’t help that Pammie is much smarter and more determined than Emily. True to the ads, The Other Woman ends with a twist I didn’t see coming. But I can’t exactly say that I enjoyed it very much. The power struggle between Emily & Pammie was kind of cliche for the most part, and without the darker undertones supplied by Adam, could’ve been lifted straight out of an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond.

You know how we all have that one friend, who’s constantly in a state of crisis, and you know that at least 75% of their misery could be avoided if they would just put on their big-person panties and stick up for themselves, but they never do? And so you let them go on and on and on and ON about their latest Awful Thing while you’re washing dishes or playing solitaire and making sympathetic noises, because you think they are genuinely a good person, but you kind of want to tell them to grow up and move on already and stop letting people walk all over them and maybe they wouldn’t be so miserable but you don’t want to hurt their feelings so you just let them vent?

Emily is TOTALLY that friend. Pretty much every time Pammie pulls something shady, or Adam ignores his mother’s meddling or gets angry at Emily for trying to tell him what’s going on, Emily’s response is to whine to her friends “BUT I LOOOOOOOOOOOVE HIMMMMMM!!!!”. It’s just as frustrating to read in a book as it is to live through in real life, only without the option of being able to say “Girl, you need to get the heck out, like yesterday. Ain’t no man worth all this bull puckey.”

And the epilogue was pretty awful. Anything I say will be a spoiler, so I’m just going to say it was lousy, and go find some vodka.

The Nerd’s Rating: THREE HAPPY NEURONS (and a chocolate digestive, because I have no idea what that even means, but hey, it has chocolate in the name, so it has to be good, right?)

threehappyneurons

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