Mrs. Fletcher

Mrs. Fletcher

Large Print - 2017
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Eve Fletcher is dealing with empty-nest syndrome when she gets a text message from an anonymous number, "U R my MILF!" Over the months that follow, Eve develops an interest in a porn website called MILFateria.com, which features the erotic exploits of ordinary, middle-aged women like herself. As her online fixations begin to spill over into real life, romantic possibilities threaten to upend her quiet suburban existence. Miles away at the state college, her son Brendan is floundering in a college environment that challenges his white-dude privilege and shames him for his outmoded, chauvinistic ideas of sex.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine :, Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, a Cengage Company,, 2017.
Edition: Large print edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781432842291
1432842293
Branch Call Number: LGPRINT FICTION Perrotta Tom 08/2017
Characteristics: 497 pages (large print) ;,23 cm.
large print, rda

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ssemegran
May 13, 2019

This novel unfolds over a year of time for Eve, the titular Mrs. Fletcher, and the many people that orbit her life. In no particular order of importance, there is: Brendan her douchebag, college-aged son, Amanda her adventurous yet lonely coworker, Margo her transgender professor, and so on. The relationships and friendships span out farther to Brendan's girlfriends and friends, Eve's friends in her 'Gender and Society' class (which Margo teaches), and the complex orbital dance is revealed the farther along the novel is narrated by these various characters, all told in close third-person except for Brendan, who narrates weirdly enough in first-person.

Where the novel excels is the voyeuristic way the various narratives reveal that, even when they all get to know each other or reveal what they already know about their friends and families, they really don't know them as well as they think they do. For instance, Eve doesn't know just how misogynistic her son really is or the depths of his narcissism. Her idea of him is as outdated as his love for Teenage Ninja Turtles. But in the same way that people-watching fascinates some people, the unfiltered view into these characters lives--sometimes sexy, sometimes intimately confessional--is enthralling at times.

But the novel's strength is also its weakness, being too concerned about their internal lives and less concerned about serving the overall story or plot, or lack thereof. A unified plot is nonexistent and none of the characters experience any transgressions or difficulties to overcome worth cheering for. If you're hoping for high-risk stakes or difficult dilemmas to transcend, then you will be sorely disappointed. Ultimately, it's their first-world problems that you will be ruminating. In fact, the 'big reveal' Eve explains in the final chapter that is supposed to illuminate the relevance of a sext message at the beginning of the novel--the one where an unknown sender calls her a MILF--is so groan-inducing that it's not worth even revealing here in this review. It's like a rom-com movie joke worthy of being left on the editing room floor.

Perrotta excels when the characters examine their hopes and dreams and debate the methods in which they want to escape the ways their lives have been compartmentalized, to the detriment of their hearts and souls. The dialogue and conversations are very realistic and utterly fascinating. If you enjoy living within the lives of others (and I admit, I do when reading fiction), then you will enjoy this novel. I did enjoy listening to these characters tell me about their lives. If you are hoping for a fascinating story with an intricate plot, then look somewhere else. I wished for more--story-wise--and was left wanting more from this novel.

I would give this novel 3 1/2 stars.

h
HockeyJudgeNYC
Sep 02, 2018

I expected more from this book. It is light and shows some of the frustrations of being a middle aged divorced empty nest mom. But I felt that the writing could have been better and the ending (which was very weak) fell flat. Ultimately the book left me feeling a bit disappointed.

b
bktm2586
Jun 28, 2018

A literary fun read. Not a potboiler exactly, but not literary fiction either. Perrotta has great insight into all the foibles of these modern times. Mothers who are still hot when they're fifty, white-privilege males who aren't when they run into the wider world. The author has an astute eye for contemporary cultural mores, for all ages and genders. Don't know how he does it and keeps it fresh. Makes you smile while you think about it. Doesn't linger long, though.

ArapahoeAnnaL Jun 11, 2018

A comic novel that follows a newly empty-nested divorcee and her college freshman jock son. There is adult content; I did not find it offensive, but funny. Besides the great writing and understated humor the best thing about this book is the author's humanity, his respect for his struggling characters. A subplot involves a couple with a young son with autism. The autism parts are spot-on; loving parenting combined with rueful acceptance of the tragic aspects of autism. I think Perrota is one of my new favorite authors.

_McGeek_ Jun 07, 2018

I read this book based on his previous writings of The Leftovers and Little Children.
It was nothing like them, but I enjoyed the book a lot, and found it really interesting how a male writer would tackle writing the perspectives of: a middle aged empty nester refinding her sexuality, a transgender woman, a sexually desensitized college student and bully, a young man who's life was altered from bullying, and a young woman returning home and feeling at a loss for direction in life.
Quite the feat, thought he did a great job.
A fast read as well.

k
KMJ_
Feb 20, 2018

This book begins with the titular Eve Fletcher dropping her son Brendan off at college. The book follows many different characters as they intersect in various ways. Eve is intrigued by an anonymous, racy text that she receives one night. Brendan tries to fit in with different groups on campus, but seems to keep messing up every relationship. Eve takes a gender studies class at the local community college, and is introduced to a diverse group of people who change her perspective. There are many details about the characters and their environments. For example the way Julian has to skateboard everywhere was a nice touch to show that he’s just a kid in the suburbs. There’s a lot going on in this book, and at times it seems maybe too ambitious. But there’s a lot of great insight having to do with suburban life, gender, sexuality, privilege, and generational differences.

l
llwboston
Jan 29, 2018

An engaging contemporary domestic comedy focused on explorations of sex and identity. Despite the title, this novel focuses on several connected characters as the try to establish meaningful human connections despite the barriers of modern technology and social expectation: Eve Fletcher, a 40-something divorced mother, her college aged son, a trans-gender professor, one of Eve's employees and a recent high school graduate. All of the characters are very believable and complex, though I was challenged to empathize with Eve's son, a self-centered college freshman who has a lot of growing up to do. The novel ends rather conventionally with Eve finding love and getting married, but a final revelation ensures that her romantic life will continue to be complicated.

I do have one serious criticism. Because the novel is very much set in the world of white privilege, it felt gratuitous to include mention of "hot topics" like Black Lives Matter and the killng of Michael Brown, just in the name of contemporary relevance. Perhaps this is intended as a satire of white privilege, but to me it just felt insensitve.

k
KatG1983
Jan 11, 2018

Funny, insightful, with characters you really want to root for (mostly). As always, I am impressed by the author's ability to write realistically from a female perspective.

ArapahoeLesley Dec 10, 2017

This book is hilarious. It is fun and full of commentary on modern sexuality. As my first Perrotta book, I am impressed and enjoyed his style.

coroboreefarm Nov 16, 2017

This humorous and very contemporary novel tackles serious topics, oh so many serious, taboo topics, in an affectionate and sardonic way. Related from several first person voices; principally Eve, a middle age divorcee and empty nester with a new found passion for Internet porn and a desire to reinvent herself; and her son, Brandon, an entitled, boorish and rather unlikeable first year college student, the novel takes on many topics and unpacks them in a way that brings the reader to some serious introspection.

Peopled by a colourful and diverse set of characters including a transgender college professor, a heavily tattooed care giver, a skater boy looking for a MILF, a good ‘ol boy roomie, an ex-husband with a young wife and autistic child, and many more, this book boldly takes on many subjects that might be cringe worthy if not handled so skillfully by Mr. Perrotta. White privilege, bullying, eroticism, hook ups, ethical dilemmas, ageism, diversity, and many other uncomfortable scenarios will compel readers to examine their own prejudices and moral judgements.

This book is definitely risqué and may not be suitable for all readers.

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bktm2586
Jun 28, 2018

bktm2586 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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