About the Book:
Lou Ann Hunter’s mother, Patricia, has always had a passionate nature, which explains why she’s been married and divorced five times and spooned enough male patients to be ousted from three elderly care facilities. She also has Alzheimer’s, which is why she wants to spend the rest of her life surrounded by childhood memories at Sutton Hall, her family’s decrepit plantation home in Louisiana.
Lou Ann, a.k.a. Lulu the Love Guru, has built an empire preaching sex, love, and relationship advice to the women of America—mostly by defying the example her mother has set for her. But with Patricia suddenly in need of a fulltime caretaker, Lou Ann reluctantly agrees to step out of the spotlight and indulge her mother’s wishes, even if it means trading in her Louboutins and Chanel N°5 for boots and mosquito repellent.
Upon her arrival at Sutton Hall, Lou Ann discovers that very little functions at it should—least of all Patricia’s mind. And as she adjusts to this new and inevitably temporary dynamic with the help of a local handyman and a live-in nurse, she is forced to confront the reality that neither her nor her mother’s future is going according to plan.
Heartrending at times and laugh-out-loud funny at others, How Lulu Lost Her Mind is the book for everyone and their mother. Fans of Emily Giffin, Kristan Higgins, and Jill Shalvis won’t be able to forget it.
I'm writing this review on April 15, which just happens to be the six-year anniversary of my Dad's death. During his last eighteen months I visited almost weekly, taking him to Mass on Saturday night and then fixing supper for him. I started that routine when we realized it was no longer safe to leave him alone for long stretches of time. We had hired help during the week, one brother lived next door, and another took the Sunday shift. I live an hour and a half away so those few hours a week cost me most of my Saturday afternoon and evening, and during those eighteen months I only missed a few weeks. Looking back on it, I can say those months were hard, but worth it. I had to adjust my life, but I didn't have to make wholesale changes to it.
Lou Ann is a writer, blogger, speaker--an expert on relationships, or at least she plays one on-line. For all her expertise she has never found Mr. Right. Her mother, on the other hand, has always found Mr. Right for now and is still looking, despite her Alzheimer's, which, as noted above, gets her kicked out of her nursing home. Her mother wants to go home to Louisiana, and Lou Ann has enough money to make that dream come true, so they pack up their stuff and move to the old home place.
My Dad never became hard to deal with, and kept his mental faculties until the end. Patricia, Lou Ann's mother, wasn't so lucky. She could be mean and, of course, she had dementia. As they went through family treasures Lou Ann learns about relatives she never met. She meets neighborhood people who are unlike those she chose to be with in her "real" life. Yes, one is a man.
The book is set in southeast Louisiana, which is where I live. While there were things that sounded familiar like Lakeside Mall and chicory coffee, the plantation is outside a small town where people speak with a Cajun accent, and honestly there aren't many (any) of those with easy access to Lakeside Mall.
I enjoyed the book and there was one serious plot thread--Patricia wanted Lou Ann to promise to put her out of her misery when things got too far along. Lou Ann didn't fee right about doing that, but toward the end of the book, Lou Ann made a decision about a similar issue which turned out not to be important, but which could have been.
Actually the ending was pretty much the only part of the book that I didn't like. For some reason it just seemed sudden, almost like the allotted number of pages had been filled and it was time to wrap things up. But, maybe that's the way life is--we don't usually get to go out at what we consider to be the perfect time on the plot arc.
I'd like to thank the publisher for providing a review copy via NetGalley. Grade: B.