‘The Rejected Writers Book Club’ is the first novel in the Southlea Bay Series, written by Suzanne Kelman and published by Lake Union Publishing. It follows the hijinks of Janet Johnson, Southlea Bay’s local librarian, and her dealings with the Rejected Writers Book Club – a club whose sole mission is to collect rejection letters from publishers. But alas, one of their members has been accepted!!
The plot of ‘The Rejected Writers Book Club’ was very fun – every time I thought it couldn’t get sillier, it managed it somehow! The climax of the book with the confrontation of the publishers was absolutely delightful. I was cackling my head off whilst I was reading, which is a pretty unusual thing for me. While I’m not exactly the target audience for this book, I found this tale about zany middle-aged women to be extremely entertaining. Strong characters and strange situations abound!
Saying that, I was slightly put-off by Janet, the narrator. I realise that the reader needs someone to connect with, but she was so normal in comparison to everyone else – I would have loved to be in one of the other characters’ heads. While at times witty, I found her a bit catty (and not in a fun way), and just a bit superior to everyone else. For example, she is supposed to have a complicated relationship with her daughter, but it just came across as bitter and cold. However, I will definitely give the author the benefit of the doubt, as this is her first novel, and the plot was just so damn entertaining.
While I’m not usually a reader of chick lit, I found the lightness and frivolity of the novel quite delightful. If the next book in the Southlea Bay series explored the lives of other members of the Rejected Writers Book Club, I would definitely consider picking it up.
Finally, as summer (slowly) approaches, all I can say is – ‘The Rejected Writers Book Club’ would be a fantastic beach read. Like really, REALLY perfect.