Save What’s Left

Books on Tape. Jun. 2023. 8:48 hrs. ISBN 9780593739426. $76. F
After her husband leaves her, 59-year-old Kathleen Deane buys a beach house near the Hamptons, sight unseen. Her road trip from Kansas City to Long Island, NY, gives her time to go through the five stages of grief, allowing her to be “the first person in history to reach acceptance on the Long Island Expressway.” Upon arriving in Whitbey, she is dismayed to discover that her new house is basically a shack, that a McMansion is being built next door, and that small-town politics are appallingly corrupt. Kathleen tries to let this go, but her crabby neighbor Rosemary enlists her support in ceaseless attempts to hold the local government accountable for its shady dealings. Between attending community-board meetings and fighting with contractors at the house next door, Kathleen writes hilariously polite yet simultaneously rude letters to the town supervisor. Thérèse Plummer narrates with gleeful vigor, conveying Kathleen’s frustrations with perfectly pitched, snarky relish. Plummer’s spot-on comedic timing makes for a completely engaging, laugh-aloud listen.
VERDICT A perfect marriage of narrator and novel. Anyone who has ever lived in a small town or dealt with the realities of aging should find this production delightfully relatable.
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