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Natural Born Charmer [Book Review]

  • Date Submitted: 12/08/2011 08:22 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 59.7 
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Book Review
Natural Born Charmer
Susan Elizabeth Phillips

The message of Natural Born Charmer is that even victims of bad parenting can find a happily ever after. We’re expected to ignore the fact that these characters’ personal lives are train wrecks and years of intense therapy are probably in their future – it’s fiction so, of course, the worst problems can be solved by dancing barefoot in the grass.
Blue Bailey was raised by a succession of good-intentioned but minimally committed substitute parents. Her mother Virginia, an international peace activist, was too involved in saving the world one cause at a time to be bothered by the needs of her own child. Blue has been working in a beaver costume as a living advertisement for a lumber yard. She is stomping down the road wearing the headless costume, aiming to kill her low-life boyfriend who got her this gig when she meets Dean Robillard, gorgeous hunk, underwear model, and star quarterback with the Chicago Stars. Dean is driving to East Tennessee to check out renovations to the farm he’s bought as a rural, get-back-to-nature retreat. He sees a headless beaver marching down the side of the road and can’t resist pulling over to investigate. Blue who’s down to her last $18 manages to attach her to the obviously rich Dean. In return for this, she treats him to smart-mouth conversation and an unflattering portrait that causes him some introspection. Dean decides that she will be his first houseguest when he meets up with the elusive Susan O’Hara who has been supervising the renovations. When they arrive at the farm, he discovers that Susan O’Hara is really Dean’s mother. April had been a full and active participant in the culture of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. After she became pregnant with rock superstar Jack Patriot’s child, she refused to have an abortion and got dumped. She turned on and dropped out as her life went into a tailspin into drugs, alcohol, and indiscriminate sex. She has undertaken the work...

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