The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank
Leslie Carter and her husband Wesley have enjoyed many years of the upper class Atlanta society. But times are changing when two of Wesley’s long time buddies trade in the mothers of their children for younger models. Leslie, in her later 50’s finds she can not relate to these young women with their modern taste in clothing, music, and childish (in her opinion) ways. When Wesley seems to be more engaged in golfing and his buddies, Leslie takes a good long look at her life and realizes that Wes has always put his own needs and wants above hers. As she tally’s up the sacrifices she has made through the years she comes to realize she has given up way too much of herself.
With two adult children that can not seem to get it together, and Wes acting as though Leslie is lucky to have him, Les decides enough is enough. When a discovery is made that Wes has been keeping something very big a secret, it is the final straw. Les packs her bags and returns to her home town of Sullivan Island in Charleston where she stays with her brother, Harlan (who Wes couldn’t stand because as he put it “Harlan was a little pink”).
When Les finds a connection with Johnathan a long ago boyfriend, Les rekindles the friendship between them and finds that life did not have to be as hard as she had made it to be and decisions on how to move forward from here were now what needed to be thought through. There are obligations to her husband of many years and to her children – but exactly what those obligations are clearly needed to be changed.
Oh how can I even describe how much I enjoyed this book? Told in alternating chapters between Leslie and Wesley (yes the matchy matchy names bothered me at first) you as the reader get a first hand look at what is happening through each of their eyes and opinions. It was actually enjoyable to go from reading Leslie;s matter of fact smooth dialogue to Wesley’s more demanding, almost pout like tone of what he felt should be the ideal wifely duties and what he felt was due him.
Definitely a hard to put down read that I enjoyed very much. I liked that it had a different twist to it than other “returning home” reads. And let me say – Harlan, who in my mind felt like Rupert Everett (George in My Best Friends Wedding).
Additional format note: Due to time restraints I read part of this book and then downloaded the audio book and listened to it -which is a rave! Fantastic narration – I loved the voices of the smooth southern flow talk of Leslie and then the harsher whiny tone of Wesley – definitely a treat for the ears!
Thank you to TLC Book Tours for letting me try Dorothy Bentown Franks books
and making me a HUGE FAN as a result!