Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Book Review: Stressed in Scottsdale by Marcia Fine

With the absurdities of desert living set in her literary cross hairs, Fine once again skewers some of Scottsdale's finest while her protagonist, Jean, tries to find sanity in a world where it rains dirt and blind sheep fall off mountains. Modern living isn't for sissies and Fine addresses the deeper issues of the environment and political corruption as she couches them in laugh-out-loud lines. It is wickedly funny. (product description courtesy of Amazon)

Rating:  3/5
Source:  Review copy received from the author, via Bostick

My Review:
Had a hard time getting into this one, as I simply couldn't relate to the main character. Jean Rubin has to juggle the demands of her job with the demands of her friends and family. I could see what the author was trying to do, but since so much of Jean's stress seemed self-inflicted, I couldn't really sympathize or find it amusing. For instance, I found nothing amusing about her recently unemployed son asking for money so that he and his wife could go on a fertility vacation in order to have a second child. Excuse me?

Really liked Jean's husband Maury, a semi-retired doctor. He seemed like a nice guy, but I do wish that Jean had insisted that he help her out around the house more. His heart was in the right place, but he had no clue. Didn't really care for Jean's two best friends, April and Glee. They seemed a little two-dimensional to me, and I couldn't relate to either one. Her mother seemed like a typical elderly mother, so no complaints there. Didn't like her kids at all, as they came across as self-centered and spoiled.

Gave this book a 3/5 rating as it was an okay read. No issues at all with the writing or plot, but I just didn't care for the characters or find it amusing. Think it's because I've been fiercely independent my entire life, so can't relate to people who allow others to take advantage of them or haven't learned how to say no.

About the author:
Marcia Fine is an award-winning humorist and novelist, and her Jean Rubin series has met with great acclaim. She now resides in Scottsdale, AZ. Don't miss Jean Rubin's blog (penned by Fine), http://www.jeanrubinblog.com/ , commenting about the environs of a posh resort town with a host of chic residents and the bizarre news that entertains us all.


  1. Hmm...not sure what to say about this one. The synopsis left me wondering...what?!? Your review helped clear the mystery of what the story was about (not spoiled, just raised the fog a little), but I'm not quite certain this one is for me. Thanks for sharing though...and happy reading! ^_^

  2. I think relating to the characters is an important part of the book. They don't need to necessarily likable, but you have to have a connection.

    Like you, I need characters to really be able to stand up for themselves. Push overs drive me nuts.