My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I can't figure out why I enjoyed this book. I just did. It's against all that I hold near and dear to my heart. I think it was simply the storytelling.
Had Georgia been born a few generations back, she's be known as Georgia Ethel Butts. Fortunately, one of her ancestors had the good sense to make a name change. Somehow Bottoms is not exactly the best but it's an improvement. The thing about Georgia is she is the "Other Woman." She believes she is doing a service by providing men in her southern church's congregation a sexual outlet. She's pretty self-centered but at the same time, a decent person considering she is the one who takes care of her ailing mother and brother who is interesting at best, a domestic terrorist at worst.
She lives in the old family home that used to be quite majestic. Without a steady income, she simply has arrangements with a few of the men in town. It's not love or really "business." It's simply offering gifts (sexual) for gifts freely given (they support their mistress). There's a man for every night of the week except Monday. They all believe they are the only one. Georgia has rules that can not be breached. Things have been going smoothly for years. She keeps the secrets and keeps the men separated by nights of the week and all in the shadows to keep the facade. When one strokes out she has another to take his place. When one starts talking about leaving his wife and marrying her, she has a contingency plan. Truth is, she's too self-centered to make room for anybody that might tie her down.
But then complications arise. In her carefully ordered world, she keeps up appearances and goes to church on Sunday where she carefully studies her latest manicure or dreams of a new dress she wants to buy while Mr. Saturday Night drones on. Except Mr. Saturday Night found his guilty conscience and confessed to his wife last night and is ready to confess his sins to the entire congregation which would upset Georgia's carefully ordered world. She averts the tragedy and hastens Eugene's exit from her small town. She is clearly a girl who does not wish change in her schedule.
The little charades continue but complications are constantly arising. She puts out fires and adjusts to small changes like her increasingly forgetful mother or her alcoholic brother who just can't seem to keep his nose clean. Still, the small town continues and she handles it all with aplomb. But then things get really dicey. Georgia does have a secret son and he eventually ends up on her front porch. This is much more complicated than one might first admit. Think deep South and he has dark skin. Oh, yeah. She's fair skinned and blond.
I honestly had no idea where this story was heading. It just kept telling itself and there was nothing particularly predictable about it except I suspected that all of her secrets would eventually unravel. How this occurs, however, is really the journey and it is incredibly entertaining.
How do you cheer for the Other Woman? I honestly couldn't. I liked her and she stayed true to her character throughout the book but I certainly didn't wish for her to get off without consequences. At the same time, besides her little sexual forays, she was a good person, albeit self-centered. The ending is satisfying, although I want to say more. It is surprising and I liked Georgia's resilience and acceptance of change.
Thanks to Brad at Hatchette, I have 1 copy to offer.
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