Thursday, September 18, 2008

a review of "Greetings from Jamaica, Wish You Were Queer"


Greetings From Jamaica, Wish You Were Queer by Mari SanGiovanni

Marie Santora is a fairly happy 30-ish woman. Well happy, except for a few flies that have gotten stuck in her milkshake. Her girlfriend is cheating on her, yet Marie is financially trapped in the condo they uneasily share. No one at work is really interested in talking to her since her brother 'outed' her on the loud speaker system. Her slightly crazy Italian family is practicing, with various degrees of success, a sort of "don't ask, don't tell" policy about her affectional orientation...and her grandmother just died.

Now, don't feel too bad about the grandmother. She hated her grandmother and her grandmother hated her. She hated everyone it seems.

Marie's conversation with her brother Vince on the way from the funeral sort of sums it up.
"I laughed at him. 'It's not going to the same without Gram around to make the family events run less smoothly.'
'You know Marie, I've always been more than a little jealous about how you and Gram used to get along...'
'Yeah, I know. She always hated me best.' "

Well, she hated her enough to leave Marie her entire fortune. With the request that she give none to the rest of the family.
21 millions dollars folks. Someone should hate me like that!

Not surprisingly, being a millionaire changes a few things in her life. Her beautiful, soon to be ex-girlfriend seems to have forgotten the parade of women she had taken up with and is planning their future together. Oh, she is going to be so upset to see that is so not going to happen. Her job is very quickly given the deep six so Marie can start to follow her dream of being a screenwriter...and have a little time to do a wee bit of gentle stalking of the actress that she intends will play the lead in the movie. Off she flies to California to carry out her plan. "H.I.L.S (Homesick-Italian-Lesbian-Stalker)seeks Actress". Oddly enough, that does not go well!

So she shifts her sights for a moment and decides to take her entire family to Jamaica for a vacation and to announce how she will divide the money. You knew she wasn't going to pay any attention to her grandmother's dying request, didn't you?
Off the Santoras set for the islands...and the hilarity ensues. All manner of people turn up, all sorts of events take their turn and we are in the middle of a madcap, fun-fest. A virtual barrel of monkeys-rama. A laugh out loud journey of jocularity.
In case you don't quite get my subtle point, "Greetings From Jamaica, Wish You Were Queer" is a very, very funny book.

I love a funny book. I love characters that have a sense of humor. And these folks are Characters with a capital C, this book is Funny with a capital F.

Now, if Ms. SanGiovanni would just get her act together and finish that highly anticipated second novel....no doubt her legion of well deserved fans...and maybe Entertainment Tonight...is waiting.

4 comments:

  1. >>I love a funny book.

    And I love a funny book review! :-)

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. what is with blogger today??....ggggrrr
    hence the deleted comment.

    I can guarantee that if you like the title of the book, or find my review even slightly amusing, you will most likely enjoy this book a lot.
    Truthfully laugh out loud funny, something you really can't say about a lot of books.

    I think that because of the gay character it has been marketed to a certain audience, which is all well and good, but it really deserves a wider market as well.

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