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All the Single Ladies    by Dorothea Benton Frank Amazon.com order for
All the Single Ladies
by Dorothea Benton Frank
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2016 (2015)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

This novel is perhaps best be described as chick lit for the older woman. Three amazing and unforgettable middle-aged women are the focus of this story that opens with the passing of Kathy Harper, the patient of Lisa St. Clair.

A dedicated nurse, Lisa grew attached to Kathy as she struggled with cancer. Now with Lisa gone, Kathy finds herself drawing closer to Carrie and Suzanne, two of the deceased woman's devoted friends who were always there for her too.

On their seashore walks these three women share their concerns about men, aging, and the challenges of remaining financially secure. The reader also comes to learn more about the women's own families and the problems they have had to deal with over the years.

As their relationship deepens, these three also compare notes as they share stories about their former friend. As one might expect, some interesting truths emerge about Kathy and her life as well.

This poignant story about friendship has its humorous moments as well as some emotional surprises. Overall, though, it confirms the importance of developing solid relationships and it illustrates the fact that being single doesn't mean having to be alone in one's later years.

2nd Review by Mary Ann Smyth:

Lisa St. Clair's husband walked out on their marriage and daughter Marianne twenty-four years ago. No support for the child (whom Lisa raised as a single mother) except for a lottery ticket from her ex every Christmas!

A patient where Lisa works dies of cancer and her grieving friends gather to remember her. Carrie and Suzanne just naturally connect with Lisa and end up meeting Suzanne's grandmother, who is quite elderly and too fond of tequila!

They all three have their burdens to bear. Lisa the no-good ex who is now encouraging Marianne to sell pot. Carrie greedy ex-step-children who are trying to cut Carrie out of their father's will. Suzanne whose greedy sisters feel they will be able to walk into their grandmother's home and take whatever they want upon the woman's death.

The three take long walks to stay in shape and to mull over their problems together. Lisa has an outspoken mother who would drive anyone to distraction. The setting is the Isle of Palms, which should certainly slow down their pulses a bit. And there's a cute little dog who loves everyone.

All the Single Ladies is the sixteenth of Dorothea Benton Frank's novels. She manages each time to draw the reader into her stories and keep them there until the last page. Her deep characterizations present those who could be our next-door neighbors or even ourselves. Her wonderful insights into the human mind and subsequent behavior prove so true. A very entertaining read great for the beach.

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