Better Off Without Him by Dee Ernst is modern romantic comedy at its best. Mona Berman is a very successful author who’s forte is the historical romance novel. Throughout the book she slips into author mode to translate a scene that’s actually happening into a flowery passage in one of her books. It’s the witty hallmark of this story. Mona, who specialises in happy endings, suddenly finds herself facing a bleak one. Her husband suddenly announces he wants a divorce because he has met Dominique, whom no one can believe is real at first, not with a name like that. Thanks to the support of her three daughters and strong friends, Mona rebuilds her life and finds happiness in her grasp again.

This is such a well written book. The characters are believeable if, in a few cases, very eccentric such as multiple divorcee Patricia and Aunt Lily. Brian, the selfish, self-absorbed husband is the only unpleasant person to appear. You do slightly wonder what Mona ever saw in him, but not to the extent of spoiling the story. The three daughters are teen-agers to a T, wonderfully so. There is plenty of action, witty dialogue and life for strong, courageous Mona is never, ever dull. And the ending? Well, as Mona says about her own books, the only possible conclusions are either the girl gets her guy or she doesn’t. Mona gets what she deserves in this story. It’s inspiring escapism that will make you smile.

 

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