Secrets told in the church ladies’ room are supposed to stay in the ladies’ room. But that doesn’t mean that what Trudy overhears there during her great-aunt Gertrude’s funeral won’t change the rest of her life.
Trudy has a daughter in the middle of a major rebellion; a two-timing husband who has been cheating for their entire married life; and a mother with Alzheimer’s residing in the local nursing home. She doesn’t really need a crumbling old house about to fall into nothing but a pile of memories and broken knickknacks.
Billy Lee Tucker, resident oddball in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, lived next door to Gert, and in her will she leaves him the funds to help Trudy remodel the old house. That’s fine with Billy Lee, because he’s been in love with Trudy since before they started school. And just spending time with her is something he’d never ever allowed himself to dream about.
A beautiful home rises up from the old house on Broadway, and right along with it rises up a relationship. But is Trudy too scarred from what she heard in the ladies’ room to see a lovely future with Billy Lee?
Bubby: Can you even imagine finding out that your husband is a lying shmuck-face who’s been cheating on you your entire marriage? And that everyone in town knows but you? Even your daughter? I must say that I’d go right home and cut the crotches out of all my husband’s pants and then light myself a big old bonfire on the front lawn – using his possessions as firewood.
Sissy: And I would help you. And then, for good measure, I’d cauterize his bits.
Bubby: SISSY! You can’t say stuff like that! This is a family blog! Besides, we have to maintain plausible deniability.
Sissy: Ok. I would just THINK about cauterizing…something of his. And besides, you’d do the same for me if I were in that situation.
Bubby: Luckily we are married to the best pair of men to ever walk God’s green earth, so no worries.
Sissy: Hear hear! This book starts with a hilarious but heartbreaking scene in the ladies’ room during a funeral. Trudy’s love-hate relationship with her two cousins is summed up in this paragraph: “Maybe I could strangle them with the legs of my ultra-control pantyhose…if I put the hose back on after I committed justifiable homicide, no one would ever find the murder weapon.” That is the tone of this story. Irreverent, tongue-in-cheek, down to earth and full of Southern charm.
Bubby: Sounds like us, minus the Southern charm, of course. I loved the fact that this is a romance between grown-up characters but there’s no graphic shmexy stuff. All too often we read authors who think that a normal date starts with dinner and a movie, followed by dessert and coffee and then high-ho! Right into bed (complete with lots of detail that I did not need to know!). Trudy and Billy Lee take it nice and slow and as a result, their relationship unfolds beautifully from a friendship into true love.
Sissy: I loved Trudy’s relationship with her Alzheimer’s suffering mother and her mother’s best friend Lessie. Her mom says some really good zingers when she’s lucid (and even when she’s not lucid). Drew, Trudy’s slimeball cheating husband is one of those characters you just love to hate. In the beginning, her daughter Crystal is one of these as well. (Don’t worry, she gets better). I was a bit confused about Billy Lee in the beginning because he seemed to be initially described as a loner and so I didn’t know if he was just socially backward or a sociopath or, you know, Una-bomber Two in training. So when he turns out to be a charming, handsome, lovely person, I wondered why nobody in town knew it and I had to adjust my thinking accordingly.
Bubby: Pretty much everything about The Ladies’ Room was spot on for me. I relished every sentence.
Sissy: And in the words of Great-Aunt Gert, “If you don’t like it, go home and pout. I don’t really care.”
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