on August 1, 2011
I loved this book and I'll tell you why: Any book that sucks me in on page one and doesn't let me go until I'm rereading the back cover is definitely worth the price printed on it. I found the main character, Frankie, to be funny and easy to relate to, and all the supporting characters vivid and believable. The pace flows steadily and never drags, leading the reader towards a satisfying yet unpredictable destination. Written with warmth and humor, The Joke's On Me is a feel good story that pulls you in so deep that one can almost smell the aromas of Frankie's world. A highly recommended lighthearted summer read.
on June 25, 2013
Okay, I have two complaints about this book, A) It made me miss L.A. so much that I nearly got into my broken-down car and tried to make a break for it. B) It ended. Seriously, I spent the better part of two days with my head in the book and was heard to say "NOOOOOO!" when I got to the last page. I felt a lot of empathy for the main character, Frankie. She and I share a tendency to want to run towards cigarettes and booze when the going gets tough.
This is a very fun and funny read about some serious stuff. You may be too busy laughing to notice that every time Frankie chooses the right but tough road you utter a sigh of relief. Life is hard, and some crazy things happen, and some totally normal things that drive you crazy happen. The fact that this woman experienced both the crazy and the normal, and struggled to find a good way to deal with those bumps in the road that we call life, made me root for her. I wanted her to be a stronger, saner, happier person at the end of her journey. To find out if that happened you will have to read the book. I wanted her to make mistakes, and she did. And I wanted her to get back up and keep fighting, and she did.
I'm sad that our time together came to an end, especially because now I'm not sure what I can read that won't pale in comparison to "The Joke's On Me". I'm eagerly awaiting Laurie Boris's next book, because the woman manages to top my expectations.
on July 16, 2011
"The Joke's On Me" is a great slice of life and the characters seem real. It is a delightful show of enthusiasm, humor, and realism. Frankie deals with changing times and grows with a changing family situation. We see it as a great read!
on March 14, 2013
I read Laurie Boris' novel Drawing Breath first. And absolutely loved it. Then I read her third novel, Don't Tell Anyone. And I loved that one too. However it took me almost a year to finally read her debut novel, The Joke's on Me.
Why? Because I was worried a debut novel would not achieve the incredibly high standards Laurie Boris hit with her later books.
Silly me. :)
The Joke's on Me is every bit as good as her later novels because Laurie Boris is a master storyteller who knows her craft inside and out. But writing a great book is about more than just being a great craftsman. Writing a great book, or three, is about capturing the essence of what makes us human, and imbuing that essence into each and every character. That is where Laurie Boris shines.
I would recommend all three of Laurie Boris' novels to anyone who has a heart. Dexter might not like it though. :)
on September 6, 2011
I'm more of a reader than a writer, but I loved the true to life descriptions of life as we all think of it. This book isn't about just going back in time. It brings life together to the present. The characters are funny and the props real. I finished it with a big smile!
on October 9, 2011
...when so many of us are working on reinventing ourselves, whether by choice or necessity -- or both!
I found myself loving Frankie's combination of resilience and vulnerability. And while this is definitely a funny book, it also offers food for thought.
When I finished it, I couldn't help thinking about a quote from Steve Jobs' inspiring Stanford commencement address. In reflecting about his ousting from Apple (he, of course returned to even greater triumph), he realized it was just what he needed to grow.
"The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything," he said. "It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life."
I think that's true for Frankie in "The Joke's on Me." And can be true for all of us.
Cheers to Laurie Boris for inventing such an authentic and appealing character!
on July 11, 2013
I don't normally read romantic comedies, usually reserving them for the occasional chick flick I am either forced into seeing in the movies or watch in secret on TV where no one but me and the NSA could possibly know. This is one of those books that makes me question why my male pride doesn't allow me to admit that I like romance and comedy and why not combine them with a bit of eave dropping in on a family in Woodstock, New York. After all, its a fabled place where we are all stardust, we are all golden, and we have to get ourselves back to the garden. (If not the Garden State)
The characters are a rich collection of stereotypes and oddballs from both coasts, all four corners of the US if you count some of their life stories and adventures. More than a romance or a comedy, The Joke's on Me is a slice of life American story with thoughts on family traditions, coming of age, and aging. Totally delightful book which is entertaining, amusing, and often painfully true to life. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys such things, even if manly pride won't allow admitting so. After all, some of the best things are secret guilty pleasures.
on March 22, 2012
Woodstock, beautiful, bucolic, friendly and still small village like is calling her children home. They are returning from the big city, from the southwest and from the west coast. Home to lick their wounds surrounded by family and friends.
Frankie is the latest to arrive. Tail tucked between her legs behind the wheel of a cherry red sport car, exhausted and drained. She'd tried her luck over two decades in Hollywood. First as a minor film actress with a few unremarkable roles, then as a comedian in the harsh and depressing world of stand-up comedy clubs. Finally accepting her fate as another never-quite-got-there east coast transplant she resigns herself to being assistant to one of the biggest actresses in Hollywood. But living on the west coast has drama all its own and Frankie's latest abode has joined so many others in the mudslide down to the Pacific. Homeless, jobless as her employer decides to go on hiatus, Frankie drives home.
Home to Woodstock and the family Bed and Breakfast. But Frankie isn't the only daughter to come home. Her sister, Jude, is already there. Successful businesswoman and single mom, Jude has come home to take over the business and care for their aged and ill mother while she licks her wounds from divorce number 4. But the business is in trouble and Jude has a plan to save it. A plan that will lead to conflict for both sisters.
Oh but with all good romantic comedies there has to be a little romance.
The sisters aren't the only ones to have come home. Frankie's all time adolescent crush has also come home. Home to be near his son who lives with his ex-wife, home to take over his fathers business and home for comfort from a professional base-ball career that never quite made it. Joey Mazzarella filled Frankie's life with teenage angst, now he is back in town to complicate her adulthood.
Add in a nephew with a yearning to go into the "movie biz," an ex-husband with a sense of humour and a lingering crush on his ex-wife and the kind of characters you only seem to find in small towns, stir them together and you have a recipe for a fun, lively and enjoyable romantic comedy.
Crisply written and filled with irony "The Joke's on Me" is fun and witty with snappy dialogue sure to please those who like their romance with quirk and spirit. This is a great first novel and I hope to see more from Ms. Boris in future. I will certainly put Ms. Boris on my authors to follow list.
Karen Bryant Doering
on April 30, 2012
I put this book into my `armchair and slippers' category. It's not a fast-paced or edge-of-your-seat thriller: it's a cosy, warm, funny, feel-good novel.
Frankie, a comedienne, heads back to her teenhood home after she loses just about everything she owns (except, thankfully, her sense of humour) to a mudslide. Here, she finds her tree-hugging, assertive sister trying to make a go of their parents' B&B, now that their mother is in a home. With few options left to her for her immediate future, Frankie helps her sister reinvent the business. But upon her return, she finds more than the aroma of her sister's incense sticks permeating through her old home: there are memories of her father, her mother, and her teenage crush; secrets - tender, poignant, fragile secrets; and a rekindled love, new confidence, and a new future.
This book is wonderfully easy to read, amusing, and there's something snug and `comfy' about it. Laurie is a talented and funny writer, and Frankie as a comedienne is the perfect channel for Laurie's sparkling humour. Each character in the book has personality, depth, and presence. They are all real and credible - any one of them could be living next door to you. Their believability, however, doesn't make them any less colourful or entertaining.
A delight from start to finish.
on August 19, 2011
Laurie Boris has written a comical book with her first novel, The Joke's on Me. Humor is entwined throughout this book about former actress/comic, Francine Goldberg, Frankie to family and friends, who returns home when she feels that she has been a failure.
"The cherry-red convertible and I bounced down the excuse for a road leading to my mother's bed and breakfast. This was not the most pleasant car trip I'd ever taken, and by the time I got to Woodstock, "bed" and "breakfast" were the only two things I wanted to see, besides a bathroom with a locking door. Unfortunately, when I pulled into the gravel parking lot, there was no room at the inn. The lot overflowed with old Volvos wearing rust spots and bumper stickers like "Free Tibet" and "My Other Car is a Broom".
The catalyst for her return to Woodstock was when the house she was living in rolled down into the Pacific Ocean with all of her worldly belongings, except the cherry red convertible given to her by her former boss. Then the actress she was working for decided to take a hiatus from her work as a famous, well-known actress and didn't need her help. And her mother had a stroke that brought on memory loss.
When she reached her childhood home, she found that her older sister, Jude, had put their mother in a nursing home and started running the family B & B as a holistic health retreat for `over-the-hill' hippies. She also has ideas for the future of the B & B that will get them back in the black.
Frankie decides to stay and help her sister for the summer. She finds satisfaction in working to save the family business. You will be fascinated by the changes that Frankie undergoes as she sorts out her life.
Some old mysteries, that Frankie was not aware of, pop up as she reflects on her past life and her future. As you read through her memories and the amusing happenings of her former and new life, you will become fascinated with her and her family and friends.
Throughout the summer, Frankie struggles with her future. Should she stay in Woodstock and restore the business her parents had nurtured for so many years or should she head back to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood life? Her decision will be life-changing either way.
Laurie Boris is an award winning freelance writer with a background in advertising and marketing. She has written editorial copy, web articles, press releases, and other marketing materials. She is living in upstate New York working on her next novel.