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Mad Girls in Love: A Novel Paperback – Bargain Price, July 3, 2006

4.0 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With young Bitsy Wentworth's nose-shattering blow to her philandering husband Claude's handsome face (motive: self-defense; weapon: frozen rack of baby back ribs), West launches this warm but overloaded chronicle of three generations of Southern female eccentricity and spunk. It's August 1972, and Claude is out cold, so Bitsy flees Crystal Falls, Tenn., with their baby, Jennifer, a move that will lose her custody of (though not contact with) her daughter while setting in motion her evolution from girl-wife to worldly interior decorator 20 years later. This follow-up to West's debut, Crazy Ladies, reunites readers with familiar characters, including Bitsy's mother, Dorothy McDougal—who from a Nashville mental institution wages a letter-writing campaign to Pat Nixon on Bitsy's behalf—and Dorothy's sister, Clancy Jane, a hippie cafe owner. Despite well-wrought moments of reconciliation between estranged women throughout (Jennifer's ultimate gesture of forgiveness for Bitsy is especially understated and touching), the novel bogs down in endless female feuding and repetitive male faithlessness (i.e., Claude; Bitsy's second husband, Louie; and Jennifer's almost-husband Pierre). Quirky minor characters and subplots overcrowd this 500-plus page novel, but when West focuses on the complexities of familial or romantic relationships, the novel is at its most heartfelt. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Southern women grow wild in Crystal Falls, Tennessee. Bitsy Wentworth takes a whack at her philandering husband with a frozen slab of baby back ribs, then snatches her infant daughter, Jennifer, the keys to a Corvette, and runs off. There's no going home to mother Dorothy, currently incarcerated at a mental institution, or rowdy cousin Violet. It's hippie aunt Clancy Jane to Bitsy's rescue after Bitsy avoids prison by relinquishing custody of her daughter. Spanning 20 years and told partially through letters to First Ladies, this sprawling, colorful saga follows the four women and their hilarious and hapless relationships with each other and their men. Each suffers a major setback requiring the squaring of shoulders, sipping of sweet teas, and biting off of sharp retorts (and occasional visit to the "institution") that only true steel magnolias can manage. Although the plot meanders and could use some paring, fans of heartwarming southern novels with soap operatic plots liberally dosed with sass and spice will enjoy. Kaite Mediatore
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (July 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060985062
  • ASIN: B001PO65LI
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,542,014 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Ms West has done it once more. I love the way this woman tells a story. For those who have read Crazy Ladies, she brings forward some of the characters while bringing onto the canvas a new generation.

From the opening letter to a First Lady to the final pages of a wedding with a bonding of mother and daughter, this book held me and refused to let go. As a reader I appreciate stories about all sorts of relationships and interactions. This book did not disappoint. If you enjoy Southern style stories of strong women, you'll enjoy this book, too. Be aware though, that the men are not so likeable, save one or two.

So break out some sweet tea, find yourself a cool spot, and be prepared to take the ride of your life. I promise you'll laugh and you'll cry and you'll be totally happy with this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Bitsy, Jennifer and Dorothy all gave me hope that I am not as crazy as I think! I adored Dorothy so much as she is just "trying too hard" to get all her ducks in a row. I am such a fan of Ms. West books and I know I have many story lines she could use in another book!!!!

If you like stories about southern women and their strong ways of dealing with life you'll love this book....only problem is Ms. West didn't include more of her recipes. My husband is crazy for "Tearoom Chicken Salad" from her book "Consuming Passions".

Buy it, read it, enjoy!
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Format: Hardcover
A must read for those entranced by the saga of the "CRAZY LADIES". Although, I was not as fond of this book as the previous one, it does reconcile all the loose ends that left us hanging when we last left those crazy ladies. If you love Bitsy, Dorothy and the gang it is certainly worth your time!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Michael Lee West has done it again in her newest novel, MAD GIRLS IN LOVE. Bitsy, Violet, Dorothy, and Clancy Jane all grow and change throughout the years that are covered in this story and as you read about their loves, marriages, divorces, and sexual adventures, you will love them even more.

I've been waiting for this book to come out for a very long time, checking its release date on a regular basis, being disappointed when the release date changed to a later date. My disappointment changed to delight as I started the book. This is the kind of book that starts out good but just gets better until you don't know how you're going to get anything done because all you want to do is read.

My only complaint - on page 482 Ms. West credits the Doobie Brothers with Clancy Jane's "peaceful, easy feeling" when we all know that was the Eagles. Despite that, I love this book. If you love southern fiction, southern women, and southern ways, get this today. You won't regret it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
(3.5 stars) This is a follow-up book to Crazy Ladies, taking place in Crystal Falls, TN and follows 3 generations of women, one generation farther down than the previous book. The novel opens with Bitsy on the run from her abusive husband, with her baby in tow. Her mother, Dorothy, remains institutionalized, and writes letters to the First Lady, detailing incidents in her family's life (each one in turn over time). Aunt Clancy Jane is back with her hippie tendencies turning into crazy cat lady proclivities, along with daughter, Violet, who is off to college and medical school and seems to be the most sane of the bunch. The book spans the late 60's to the 80's as we watch these wild and wacky women go through their lives, some improving on their lives, some falling into the same patterns. This was a clever, amusing, and sometimes bittersweet novel of women of the South.
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Format: Hardcover
I loved this book. I am a mother of 2 small girls and still found time to read this book in less than a week. It is fun, sad, and always very entertaining. The lives of these women keep you engrossed throught the entire ride. I will definately check out Michael Lee West's other books as she has a way of telling a gripping story.
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Format: Hardcover
When I saw this book, I knew immediately that it was going to be a winner! Bitsy was a bit of a mess and the rest of her family just added to the mayhem. Michael Lee West never fails to delight me.
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Format: Hardcover
I travel for work sometimes and I often will purchase audio books to kill the time in the car. I found this and decided it was perfect for the time I had to travel. I absolutely loved this book, and finished it off while running errands. Sometimes I would sit in the parking lot at the store until the next part, just because I couldn't get out of my car without hearing what happened next. I read and listen to books often, and this is one that I will always recommend. I plan on purchasing the first one, Crazy Ladies, just because this one was so good.
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