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A funny, poignant and unforgettable novel about Frank - one of the most lovable and unusual characters you'll ever meet.
For some boys fitting in means standing out
Meet Frank - he isn't like other kids. Intrepid explorer, sartorial connoisseur; he's as strange as he is brilliant. But Frank discovers the hard way that people don't like brilliant and they hate strange. What Frank longs for - aside from a father - is a friend.
Meet Mimi - a reclusive literary legend and mother to Frank. Mimi has been holed up in her Bel Air mansion for years, keeping her secrets and hiding Frank from a cruel world. Until Alice.
Meet Alice - the level-headed young woman charged with looking after Mimi's unusual son. In so doing, Alice discovers what it really means to love someone. And she finds a part of herself she never knew was missing.
Funny, poignant and unforgettable, this novel - like Frank - is a one-off creation you'll fall in love with.
"Do you want to read something funny? Let’s say, a novel set at a divorce ranch in Reno in the 1930s? A book with memorably eccentric characters, sparkling dialogue, a satisfying plot twist, and some romance and sex? A feel-good literary comedy/western? Here it is, then, the book you've been looking for: Julia Claiborne Johnson’s Better Luck Next Time."—Julie Schumacher, author of Dear Committee Members and The Shakespeare Requirement
The eagerly anticipated second novel from the bestselling author of Be Frank with Me, a charming story of endings, new beginnings, and the complexities and complications of friendship and love, set in late 1930s Reno.
It’s 1938 and women seeking a quick, no-questions split from their husbands head to the “divorce capital of the world,” Reno, Nevada. There’s one catch: they have to wait six-weeks to become “residents.” Many of these wealthy, soon-to-be divorcees flock to the Flying Leap, a dude ranch that caters to their every need.
Twenty-four-year-old Ward spent one year at Yale before his family lost everything in the Great Depression; now he’s earning an honest living as a ranch hand at the Flying Leap. Admired for his dashing good looks—“Cary Grant in cowboy boots”—Ward thinks he’s got the Flying Leap’s clients all figured out. But two new guests are about to upend everything he thinks he knows: Nina, a St Louis heiress and amateur pilot back for her third divorce, and Emily, whose bravest moment in life was leaving her cheating husband back in San Francisco and driving herself to Reno.
A novel about divorce, marriage, and everything that comes in between (money, class, ambition, and opportunity), Better Luck Next Time is a hilarious yet poignant examination of the ways friendship can save us, love can destroy us, and the family we create can be stronger than the family we come from.