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The Last Time I Was Me by Cathy Lamb

The Last Time I Was Me

by Cathy Lamb

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I read this for our book club and we have not yet discussed it, so I will add more later.
  TheresaCIncinnati | Aug 17, 2015 |
I wish this rating system had 1/2 stars because I would rate this book a 4.5 out of 5, I loved it. The book was funny without being dumbed down with a female protagonist who was easy to cheer for throughout her mental breakdown. From high-powered advertising Creative Director to shame of the industry, Jeanne Stewart has reached the point in her life where she has realized that her entire professional career has been a joke and turns it into a very public revelation. Jeanne goes down in flames while being honored at an industry celebration, burning bridges and humiliating colleagues, immediately followed by her leaving town and selling off almost all her personal possessions. The trigger for her breakdown could easily be attributed to finding out that her live-in boyfriend had been cheating on her their entire relationship with dozens of women. After driving to Oregon in hopes of finding a new life, or just leaving her old one, she ends up finding a boarding house with a friendly landlady, a supportive anger management group full of quirky people who all just want to be loved, and a relationship with a mysterious stranger that she never expected would save her life. What could have been a depressing read is peppered with a lot of intelligent humor and characters the reader actually cares about. I did find the repeated references to "Slick Dick" (the cheating ex-boyfriend) to get old quickly, from a character who repeatedly tells people not to swear. And the courtroom scene at the end of the book where Jeanne has to answer to her crime against her ex is a little outlandish, but overall this book is a fun read by an intelligent author. I won this book in a First Reads contest. ( )
  mandersj73 | Apr 27, 2015 |
This was a fairly entertaining read, but I had problems with the believability factor. How can a wealthy (although hated) member of a small town be missing and no one investigate or even question the disappearance? I have my doubts that real anger management classes visit bars together, throw peanut butter at one another, pretend to be birds, and require male members to go out dressed as women. Even if a grown woman were brave enough to jog naked at night, would her anger management class not at least question the safety of such when she told them about it? How can an alcoholic quit cold turkey and experience zero withdrawal symptoms? Lastly- the court trial, although hilarious, was highly unrealistic. No judge would put up with that.

That being said, it was a funny read. You just have to take it as the chick lit beach read that it is, and not expect more.

The main character was not entirely likable. You've lost your husband and unborn child in a horrid accident, you've had a nervous breakdown and are struggling with alcoholism...but you can feel much better by staring at your shoes? The reader is left wondering if Jay couldn't have found himself a kinder, less self-absorbed wife.

The other characters, although one-dimensional, were much more likable. Rosvita, in spite of (or maybe because of) her neurotic germ obsession was amusing.
All in all, as I stated earlier, this is an OK beach read, as long as one takes it for what it is. Would I read it again? No. However I DID finish it which, for me, was saying something at least.

Read this book if...
*you are bored and looking for a light, humorous read ( )
  smartchiksread | Jan 2, 2014 |
Reading this book has been an interesting journey. Having recently finished [b:Julia's Chocolates|807108|Julia's Chocolates|Cathy Lamb|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1178568637s/807108.jpg|3250025], I had high expectations. I read the first part and was not impressed, but continued to read and suddenly became engaged. I like [b:Julia's Chocolates|807108|Julia's Chocolates|Cathy Lamb|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1178568637s/807108.jpg|3250025] better, but I am also enjoying this book.

I thought the events that happen to Jeanne were a little bit fantastic, as in "how can that possibly happen?" As the book wears on, I see the point (at least the point for me!), which is that life is a process and sometimes getting through a process is not easy and there are setbacks.

I really like the characters. One commonality in the two books I have read by [a:Cathy Lamb|422343|Cathy Lamb|http://www.goodreads.com/images/nophoto/nophoto-U-50x66.jpg] is that there are really jerky men and really good men. I am glad that she balances that out.

About 3/4s of the way through the book, right before the election, I was getting tired of reading it, so I skipped ahead and read bits and pieces from the last quarter and was re=energized to continue reading. ( )
  jlapac | Aug 14, 2013 |
I really enjoyed this book. Cathy Lamb is one of my favorite authors. Jeanne Stewart is a woman with an anger problem, she exacted revenge upon her cheating boyfriend by putting peanut oil in his condoms (he was allergic!) Facing criminal charges as well as a civil suit from said ex-boyfriend she runs away from California to Oregon. Here she slowly finds the life that has been eluding her since her husband and unborn daughter were killed in a car accident 12 years ago. A sweet story wrapped up in the raw honesty of the protagonist. ( )
  Brenda63 | Nov 20, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0758214634, Paperback)

I wrapped up my grandmother's tea cup collection and my mother's china, then grabbed a violin I'd hidden way back in my closet that made me cry, a gold necklace with a dolphin that my father gave me two weeks before he died of a heart attack when I was twelve and, at midnight, with that moon as bright as the blazes, I left Chicago. When Jeanne Stewart stops at The Opera Man's Cafe in Weltana, Oregon, to eat pancakes for the first time in twelve years, she has no idea she's also about to order up a whole new future. It's been barely a week since she succumbed to a spectacularly public nervous breakdown in front of hundreds of the nation's most important advertising and PR people. Jeanne certainly had her reasons - her mother's recent death, the discovery that her boyfriend had been sleeping with a dozen other women, and the assault charges that resulted when Jeanne retaliated in a creative way against him, involving condoms and peanut oil.Now, en route to her brother's house in Portland, Jeanne impulsively decides to spend some time in picturesque Weltana. Staying at a B&B run by the eccentric, endearing Rosvita, she meets a circle of quirky new friends at her court-ordered Anger Management classes. Like Jeanne, all of them are trying to become better, braver versions of themselves. Yet the most surprising discoveries are still to come - a good man who steadily makes his way into her heart and a dilapidated house that with love and care might be transformed into something wholly her own, just like the new life she is slowly building, piece by piece.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:22 -0400)

When Jeanne Stewart discovers that her boyfriend has been cheating on her, she exacts a creative revenge involving peanut oil and a condom. Then, after an embarassing, highly public meltdown in front of 850 important advertising and public relations people, facing a lawsuit, and dealing with her mother's recent death, Jeanne packs her belongings and moves from Chicago to a small town in Oregon. Along the way, she joins a court-mandated anger management group and proceeds to rebuild her life.… (more)

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