Title: And One Last Thing …
Author: Molly Harper
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi
Audiobook Length: 8 hours, 23 minutes
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Origins: Mine. All mine.
Release Date: 27 July 2010
“Lacey Terwilliger’s shock and humiliation over her husband’s philandering prompt her to add some bonus material to Mike’s company newsletter: stunning Technicolor descriptions of the special brand of “administrative support” his receptionist gives him. The detailed mass e-mail to Mike’s family, friends, and clients blows up in her face, and before one can say “instant urban legend”, Lacey has become the pariah of her small Kentucky town, a media punch line, and the defendant in Mike’s defamation lawsuit.
Her seemingly perfect life up in flames, Lacey retreats to her family’s lakeside cabin, only to encounter an aggravating neighbor named Monroe. A hunky crime novelist with a low tolerance for drama, Monroe is not thrilled about a newly divorced woman moving in next door. But with time, beer, and a screen door to the nose, a cautious friendship develops into something infinitely more satisfying.
Lacey has to make a decision about her long-term living arrangements, though. Should she take a job writing caustic divorce newsletters for paying clients, or move on with her own life, pursuing more literary aspirations? Can she find happiness with a man who tells her what he thinks and not what she wants to hear? And will she ever be able to resist saying one… last… thing?”
Thoughts on the Story: Lacey experiences the penultimate embarrassment when she discovers her husband’s infidelity and then realizes that this was a poorly-kept secret in her small Kentucky town. However, her problems are not as simple as suffering the indignity of a very publicly and spectacularly failed marriage. For, as easy as it would be to place the blame on her soon-to-be ex-husband, Lacey soon realizes that there are two people in every relationship and multiple reasons behind every failed one. And One Last Thing… by Molly Harper is as much about Lacey’s self-discovery and growth as it is about the ramifications of her revenge email.
Heroines in Ms. Harper’s novels are always impressive. More importantly, they are real. They experience highly embarrassing situations; they suffer from financial difficulties. They have difficult or few close relationships and tend to be introverts in spite of their large personalities. Their lives are far from perfect, nor are all problems solved immediately and without any suffering. Simply, they are the type of character with whom a reader wants to become friends. Lacey Terwilliger is a fabulous addition to her long list of impressive heroines.
While Ms. Harper’s novels do tend to follow a set format, And One Last Thing… tends to break this mold in that it, more than any of her other novels, is less about the romantic happily ever after so much as it is about Lacey’s personal growth and character development. She learns to recognize the importance of being an independent woman first and foremost. She finally understand the necessity of having one or two close friends for support. Best of all, she is not quick to rush into a relationship and negate all her hard-won lessons learned. It is so refreshing to see a woman make a life for herself on her terms.
And One Last Thing… is proof that Ms. Harper gets women. More importantly, she gets introverts – those women who tend to have few close friends, who have a tendency to sit on the sidelines of life and let it unfold around them. In Lacey, one realizes just how much she understands that not all women have the perfect marriage, the perfect career, the perfect wardrobe, polished manners, poise, or a gaggle of friends a la Steel Magnolias. We may strive to have all that, but most of us fail and fail spectacularly. The important thing Lacey discovers, and through which readers do as well, is that none of that matters so much as discovering who you are and what is ultimately important to you. For, at the end of the day, the only one responsible for you is you It is an impressive message for a light-hearted story that solidifies Ms. Harper’s standing as an excellent author of women’s fiction.
Thoughts on the Audiobook: There is no better collaboration than Molly Harper and Amanda Ronconi. Ms. Harper’s words and Ms. Ronconi’s narration are as perfect as chocolate and peanut butter. Ms. Harper creates amazing characters that are so perfectly normal, and Ms. Ronconi brings them to life in a way anyone can appreciate. Moreover, there is a wryness to her delivery which serves to highlight Ms. Harper’s wit. A Harper book narrated by Ms. Ronconi will always make one laugh and is an instantaneous mood-lifter, no matter how bad one’s day.