Thanks to NetGalley, William Morrow, and Book Club Girl for gifting me this advance copy in exchange for an honest review! 😊 This book is available now!
In Julia Claiborne Johnson’s Better Luck Next Time, when an unknown (until the end) person brings Ward (now an old man) a group photo from his past, Ward reminisces about a particular six weeks from his time working as a cowboy in the 1930s at one of Reno’s “divorce ranches.”
I liked this story–it read quickly and the setting–a divorce ranch in the 1930s–was so interesting. Apparently in Reno at this time, women (primarily rich women) could go to Reno and if they could prove they did not leave the state for six weeks (enter the divorce ranches) they could obtain a divorce from their husbands fairly easily. Did you know those existed?? I sure didn’t. Ward is a sweet and endearing narrator and you just can’t help but shake your head at him fondly while reading. I thought that while there was some seriousness throughout the story (it is a divorce ranch, after all) overall it was a nice, light read with some clever and witty dialogue which was SO necessary this week. I truly only have nice things to say about it, but I can’t seem to muster up more powerful feelings about it besides “I like it.” I think that’s probably because I don’t read a lot of literary fiction in general. I definitely enjoyed the twist at the end!
Recommended to anyone who wants some lighthearted literary fiction featuring sweet cowboys, interesting women, and a nice little plot twist.
TW: There were some “scenes of a sexual nature” but they were not super explicit.