In Regina Price’s DOES LIGHTNING STRIKE TWICE? Molly of Bangor, Maine has managed to turn a love of writing into part-time work teaching fiction at a local community college. Her main job, though, seems to be ferrying her four sons back and forth from ice hockey events. Molly’s husband Dash is an educator too, though his first love is sports, and Molly has no idea how she ended up married to and surrounded by jocks. At least she has good friends and a prolific writer’s group and her top-secret Sylvester Stallone dreams all provide her with some relief from the dissatisfactions of the daily grind. But when husband Dash forgets her birthday (again), Molly’s life entering her 40s seems just about pointless until she adds a session of weight-loss hypnosis, and astoundingly, her Sly Stallone dream takes flight in a whole new way that’s much closer to reality than fantasy, so real that before she knows it, Molly is on her way to Beverly Hills.
Scenes such as trying to get useful intel on how to actually meet the movie star from her LAX cab driver (an actor from Ohio) are hilarious. But miracle of miracles, Molly does not only meet Sylvester Stallone– and later Sly’s pal Arnold Schwarzenegger–they both wind up taking her under their wing as a newbie writer they’d like to mentor. As an extra bonus, Molly gets to live in her own private writing studio on Stallone’s estate, along with, eventually, her four-boy brood whom Dash drops off. And Sly’s all-around tattooed butler/assistant Snake is happy to baby-sit.
Totally implausible? Yes. Though the first half of the book is so entertaining, so oddly quirky (in the writing project Sly and Arnold are helping Molly with, the adventures of her P.I. protagonist Margaret White wind up set in ancient Rome!), readers are likely to be chuckling or howling with mirth, glad to be along for the ride. Sly’s ‘Code of the Warrior’ lessons to Molly about surviving a creative life in Hollywood also come off surprisingly valuable. And while certain segments of the novel do perhaps push the envelope of credulity a bit too far (such as the drawn-out kidnapping scenes), and the latter half of the book isn’t quite as amusing, one underlying theme will probably keep readers tuned in to the very end: can lighting ever strike twice? In life and in love?
Breezily self-depreciating and dripping with irony, the humorous chick-lit novel DOES LIGHTNING STRIKE TWICE? by Regina Price is a wonderful take-me-away antidote to modern-day stress.
~C.S. Holmes for IndieReader