Some families are gifted with a creative streak that seems to be encoded in the DNA. That is how artistic
Delia Ephron is probably best known for her screenplay for You've Got Mail, but she has also written several books for both adults and young people. Her 2012 novel, The Lion is In, is a quirky novel, part Boys on the Side, part Thelma and Louise, that showcases the usual cast of lovable, flawed female characters. We start with Lana and Tracee-Lana, a recovering alcoholic with an anger problem, and her best friend Tracee, runaway bride (at least, she convinced herself she was going to be a bride) and kleptomaniac. On the run from the police, they pick up Rita walking along the side of the road. Rita is running away from her Holy Roller husband and stifling life. When their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, they are forced to find shelter in a run-down night club, where they meet Marcel. Marcel will have a profound effect on all of their lives, helping each of them figure out something important about themselves that allows them to find the strength to take control of their lives. Oh, and for what it's worth, Marcel is a lion.
In true female buddy story style, the plot plays out like a comedy of errors, with lots of slightly ridiculous situations interspersed with moments of insight. The most moving of the storylines is Rita's. While Tracee and Lana both created a lot of their own problems through bad life choices, Rita's life was the result of falling into a bad marriage, and being bullied into submission by her domineering husband. This very short novel is not long on substance, but it is an enjoyable read, with enough quirks to make it interesting, despite the somewhat cliched themes about women finding their own power.
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