I read the first book set in Southlea Bay some time back and loved it. You can read my review here: The Rejected Writers Book Club So I was really pleased to be contacted by the author Suzanne Kelman to ask if I’d like to read the sequel, Rejected Writers Take the Stage. I’m pleased to say, I enjoyed it just as much. Although it’s a sequel, you don’t need to have read the first book as the story is completely standalone. If you have read the first book though, you will enjoy meeting the characters again.
In this book, the ladies of The Rejected Writers Book Club are still happily receiving rejection letters for their work but this time have a new writing challenge to face. One of their number, Annie, is facing losing her home, and sanctuary for her rescue dogs, as she has fallen behind with mortgage payments. Her friends are determined they won’t allow this to happen and come up with the idea of writing and performing a play to help raise the money she needs. Meanwhile Flora, is delighted to find that her friend Dan is coming to visit but who is the clingy woman he brings with him?
Once again I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with the eccentric ladies of Southlea Bay. I love the obvious friendship between them, despite their differences, and they way they rallied round to try to help Annie in her hour of need. The stage show Doris writes bears more than a passing resemblance to The Wizard of Oz and there were so many moments which made me laugh out loud. As soon as there was a mention of characters appearing in a cloud of smoke or being catapulted onto the stage, I knew it was going to be a hoot!
Aside from the stage show, Flora’s blossoming romance with Dan is a major strand of the story. She can’t understand who this Marcy is who Dan has brought to Southlea Bay with him and although it’s obvious to the reader what is going on, poor Flora is very despondent. There are so many missed opportunities and misunderstandings between the two and I was willing them just to talk to each other properly. If only Marcy didn’t keep getting in the way!
A thoroughly enjoyable read about the value of friendship and sticking together with lots of warm humour – I can’t wait to see what the ladies get up to next!
My thanks to the author for providing a copy of her book via Netgalley. It is published today in ebook and in paperback format. You can order a copy online here: Rejected Writers
From the back of the book
After months of playing the lottery and hoping for an uptick in her dog-boarding business, Janet’s friend Annie must face the inevitable: the bank is foreclosing on her family farm. But thanks to the Rejected Writers’ Book Club, Annie doesn’t have to face it alone. With just a few weeks to raise the $20,000 that she and her fifty rescue dogs need to avoid becoming homeless, the writers need a fund-raiser, and fast. Much to Janet’s horror, Doris has another crazy plan.
In a moment of inspiration, their fearless leader declares a solution: a musical extravaganza. No one in the group has ever produced a musical, but Doris will not be deterred—they’ll write it together. And with Flora, who has never sung a note in her life, as the lead and Janet as their reluctant director—along with a hypochondriac costume designer, a pyrotechnics enthusiast, and Janet’s very pregnant daughter pitching in—what could possibly go wrong?
To produce a miracle for Annie, Janet and her friends will work around the clock holding auditions, concocting elaborate costumes, and getting a little too close to blowing themselves up—but will it be enough?