I'm a big fan of Kris Radish's novels. I still remember the opening scene of Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral. The black bra scene is a laugh aloud moment, and every woman over forty should read the book. But, for some reason The Shortest Distance Between Two Women lacked that spark.
It wasn't a good time for Emma Gilford's old boyfriend to call. The voice on her answering machine froze her, and disrupted her life. She couldn't handle the annual Gilford reunion. At forty-three, she was the only unmarried one of four sisters, and the one the family depended on. Instead, this year, that voice stopped her in her tracks. She walked out of a reunion planning party, yelled at her a sister, and finally stood up for herself, telling the others what she thought. At the same time, she felt lost as a neighbor told her Marty Gilford, her mother, was sleeping with some man. Emma turns to her garden, and her niece's needs, to get her through.
There is warmth, and love, and laughter in this book, but not enough, and not soon enough. The book seems to drag as Emma drags through life. The final couple chapters of the reunion and a backyard party sparkle a little, but this book never comes to life. The Shortest Distance Between Two Women should be about love and family. Instead, the book was disappointing, one that felt as if 352 pages was the shortest distance I could read to get to the end of the book.
Kris Radish's website is www.krisradish.com
The Shortest Distance Between Two Women by Kris Radish. Bantam Books, ©2009. ISBN 9780553805413 (hardcover), 352p.