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Women on the Edge of a Nervous Breakthrough Paperback – Bargain Price, February 6, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Little happens in Kettle, Wis., but when Sharpe, who has written over 20 romance and erotica novels, sends an acquitted murderess to the town days after her sensational New York trial concludes, there's trouble in the offing. Lorelei Taylor, found not guilty of murdering her "publishing magnate" lover, heads to Kettle, home of her late grandmother, to lay low after the trial. As luck would have it, there's a too-good-to-be-true widower/ handyman across the street, but he refuses to be another sex toy for the gorgeous Lorelei. Neighbor Sarah Gilchrist is long accustomed to her beautiful home and ugly marriage, but Lorelei's ballsy New York attitude rubs off on her. Same with dowdy Erin Hall: abused by her husband, Erin is given hope by the arrival of the flamboyant woman she sees as a hero. Although the "surprise" at the end isn't surprising and the loose ends are tied too neatly, this feel-good story won't disappoint women readers looking for a light read. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Isabel Sharpe is the author of As Good As It Got and Women on the Edge of a Nervous Breakthrough. She lives in Wisconsin.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 375 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (February 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061140554
  • ASIN: B0046LUDMY
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,101,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Isabel Sharpe was not born pen in hand like so many of her fellow authors. After she quit work in 1994 to stay home with her first-born son and nearly went out of her mind, she started writing. Yes, she was the clich'd bored housewife writing romance, but it was either that clich' or seduce the mailman, and her mailman was unattractive. After more than twenty novels for Harlequin, and the exciting new direction of women-focused stories for Avon/HarperCollins, Isabel admits her new mailman is gorgeous, but she's still happy with her choice.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tanya Spiker on February 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
Being familiar with Isabel Sharpe's wit and noting that some of the reviews called it a comedy, I was expecting to laugh--and I absolutely did. I also winced, cried, empathized, held my breath and continued to think about the characters long after I'd read the last sentence (when you get the book, make sure you don't overlook the epilogue information in the back!) Sharpe doesn't shy away from writing about seriously flawed characters. Her "heroine" (although that's too simplisitc a description for Vivian) can be over the top and at times even self-destructive, but she remains throughout a complicated character that you root for. Even Sarah, who I would probably want to smack in real life, tugged on my heartstrings, especially in her attempts to be a good mom to her difficult teenage daughter an to ultimately change her own life. And Erin's story blew me away. If you're looking for the escapism of books that feature characters who are distinctly "good" or "bad" without much of the gray area in between or character growth, then this isn't the book for you. But for anyone else, it's a definite keeper!
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Format: Paperback
Accused of electrocuting her abusive and philandering lover, Lorelei Taylor manages to escape prosecution nearly penniless. In need of some down time, she drops her sex kitten former stripper persona and reverts back to her given name, Vivian Harcourt, to relocate to the small Wisconsin town of her deceased grandmother. She has happy memories of Kettle, Wisconsin, unfortunately, the townspeople aren't excited to have someone who they think got away with murder in their midst.

Vivian unwittingly has quite an effect on the town, from Mike the widower she wants to seduce, to the frigid wives like Sarah, who seemingly has the perfect life, but it's a mask of unfulfilled promise. Former childhood playmate, Erin has been a punching bag for her abusive husband, something a fellow victim is able to detect. As she navigates the small mindedness of her adopted small town, Vivian tries valiantly to live up to her image and maintain control her heart, while Mike slowly chips away at her armor.

Sharpe's novel of female empowerment is at times funny, bittersweet, and cathartic, and a lesson in not believing first impressions or gossip. Unfortunately, an abrupt ending and an all too brief epilogue cheats readers of the action surrounding the outcomes of each woman's life.
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Format: Paperback
Women on the Edge of a Nervous Breakthrough is a simply fabulous book. The characters are wonderfully drawn, I feel as if I've visited the setting, Kettle, Wisconsin, and the stories of these three women touch the heart. The surprises in the twists and turns of the story continue right up to the last words. Sharpe's voice is energetic and the writing is flawless. This book gets my highest recommendation.
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By MB1934 on February 28, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a "historical" gal and I don't usually roam into contemporary romance but this book was beautifully written and totally engrossing. Sharpe has a way of starting out with archetypes we can all recognize and then filling out those characatures until they are three-dimensional, complex human beings. This book has an intensely visual quality - I could really SEE the characters, the way they looked, the way they moved, the tone of their voices. The humor is sharp and laugh out loud funny throughout the book but that is mixed with such a poignant sense of the way our lives often don't end up where we thought they would. I have two suggestions: (1) do not start reading this book late at night because you won't be able to put it down and will be a mess the next morning and (2) buy two copies and give one to your best friend because you are going to be dying to talk about this book with someone when you read it.
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Format: Paperback
At first I thought this was going to be one of your average, run-of-the-mill "Chick Lit" books. But I was wrong. This book is so much more than that! It is the story of 3 women that live in Kettle, WI, a town where nothing BAD every happen. Sarah is the perfect wife, mother, and citizen of Kettle. She is polished and proper, the unofficial head of the Kettle Social Club, and appearances are EVERYTHING to Sarah. But her marriage is falling apart. Her husband has taken her for granted and her teenage daughter is rebelling, something Sarah never would have done. Erin is a shy, mousy woman, who hides the things that her husband does to her behind closed doors. I mean, nothing bad could every happen in Kettle, right? Just as she hid the things her father did to her before she was married. And Vivian, who has just returned to Kettle to live in her Grandmother's house. She is trying to pick up the pieces of her life since she has been acquitted of murdering her husband. She is brash and brazen and the media has had a field day with this "bad" girl. All she wants to do is blend in and not make any waves until the media has given up an her.

What do these women have in common? On the outside, it would seem to be nothing. But really they are alot more alike than even they want to admit. This story is more about becoming who you really are and putting away the masks that we hide behind. It is a tale of courage and struggle, friendship and love. I was very impressed with this book. It shows just how complex people really are. The characters were certainly NOT one-dimensional and I enjoyed the story alot.
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