Molly has arrived home from Vassar to reveal that she has an important announcement to make. Her mother, Suzanne, is convinced that Molly’s news is history repeating herself — and that she’s about to become a thirty-six-year-old grandmother. Suzanne’s mother, Ava, develops a case of impending great-grandmother fever—that is, when she’s not spying on the new next-door neighbor, Buddy McKinley, who turns out to be a blast from her past.
Decades earlier, Buddy was the business partner of Ava’s late husband, as well as his best friend during the Vietnam War. Ava feels she has good reasons for hating Buddy—she blames him for the fall of their business, an Irish pub that was a staple of the community. The loss not only destroyed her husband but also pushed her headfirst into the vodka bottle.
Suzanne eventually finds out that Buddy and Ava’s past goes back much further than either has admitted. She begins to wonder whether Ava truly hates Buddy, or whether her feelings are much more complicated, as are her own when Molly announces that she’s not pregnant, but gay.
Based on the award-winning play, She Effin’ Hates Me is about three women relearning to love one another for who they are and more importantly, for who they’re not.
Christina’s 4 Star Review
Suzanne is thirty-six years old, the mother to an eighteen-year-old daughter, Molly that is getting ready to head to Vassar for her freshman year. Suzanne has also just left her husband of eighteen years and has moved back in with her recovering alcoholic mom, Ava while she figures out how to put her life back together. One weekend, right before school starts, Molly comes home and she has a big announcement to share with the family; she also has her “friend” Brandon in tow. Suzanne is afraid that Molly is coming home to announce she’s pregnant, repeating the mistakes she made in the past, ending up just like her.
Molly has watched her mother work herself day and night in order to provide for the family. Steve, Suzanne’s soon-to-be ex hasn’t worked a day in his life. He’s a self-proclaimed “musician”, which means he stays in his home studio all day while playing on his synthesizer doing bong hits. It’s only when Molly has graduated from high school that she is able to finally leave Steve and go on with her life. Molly has convinced her to go back to school and finally make the life for her that she deserves.
Ava is in her early sixties and she’s one, hot, grandma. She does yoga, stars in the stage shows produced by the senior living village in which she lives, and goes for daily walks. She’s been sober for seventeen years, finally getting her act together for the sake of Suzanne and Molly. She is a widow, her husband and soul mate Jimmy dying years before, and she is ready to get back in the dating scene. She is active in AA as well as meddling in the affairs of her daughter. (That’s what moms do, right?)
While the dynamic between the three Applebaum women (Applebaum being Suzanne’s maiden name) is funny enough in its own right, Ava suddenly finds herself with a new next door neighbor…a man that happens to be her dead husband’s best friend named Buddy. She hates Buddy because she blames him for losing the restaurant and bar they used to co-own. She has never forgiven him, even though there is far more to the story than either Suzanne or Ava knows.
She Effin’ Hates Me is a story of lost love, new love, unrequited love, self-discovery, beginnings and endings. It has it all and it does it with humor. I enjoyed the book from cover to cover, but I feel that for as much as was going on in the book there could just be….more. Especially in the case of Suzanne, I want to know what happened next. And Ava…is it really ever too late for true love? It seems to me that if there was ever a book that was ready to be made into a series, this is it!
She Effin’ Hates Me is a solid four star read. The book has been adapted by the stage play of the same name and I can imagine that play itself would be downright hilarious. I found myself laughing out loud several time because I could see so much of my own family in this book. Ms. Savage has developed characters that women of any age can certainly understand and relate to, as well as the challenges they face in their everyday lives. The lessons of empowerment and strength are so important and the author really could take this even farther if she wanted to. I know I would be on board for more!