Better Luck Next Time by Julia Claiborne Johnson
Did you know that Reno, Nevada was once known as the divorce capital of the world?
I found this fictional book about the very real history of the divorce industry in Reno (circa 1930) to be absolutely fascinating!
A cast of flawed yet loveable characters spends six weeks at a Reno dude ranch for soon-to-be divorcées while waiting for the requisite time to pass, making them official residents of Reno and therefore entitled to a Reno divorce. I had no idea this was a thing until recently!
In Better Luck Next Time, during this waiting period, many of these soon-to-be divorcees found solace at the Flying Leap, a ranch that catered to their every need.
Enter Ward, a 24-year-old ranch hand at the Flying Leap. With his dashing good looks and charm, Ward believes he has the wealthy divorcees’ number as they come and go, year after year. However, his perspective is soon changed by two new guests–Nina, a St. Louis heiress and amateur pilot, and Emily, who had the courage to leave her cheating husband and drive herself to Reno.
Better Luck Next Time is a novel that explores money, class, ambition, and opportunity. This poignant and hilarious examination shows how friendship can save us, love can destroy us, and the family we create can be stronger than the family we come from.
The Zeppelin, God love her, was one of those chipper old broads who believed the secret to eternal youth lay in steering her ocean liner in the opposite direction of a conversation listing toward sadness.Julia Claiborne Johnson, Better Luck Next Time
If you’re giving Better Luck Next Time as a gift, here are a few things to consider:
The vibes are very funny, reflective, emotional, and informative with a medium pace.
It’s the perfect book for anyone who loves a story about second chances, women supporting women, and the courage to make big changes.
Permission to judge a book by its cover!
@birdbrainbooks turned Better Luck Next Time into a study of green which feels just right for a story about renewal.
*Better Luck Next Time fulfilled my POPSUGAR Reading Challenge prompt for a book about a divorce. (I wanted a book celebrating divorce, not wallowing in the demise of marriage; this book delivered!).