#3 – Fifteen Minutes of Shame by Lisa Daily

9 01 2009

When I requested a free swag bag for my book club from author Lisa Daily, she included a signed copy of her upcoming novel, Fifteen Minutes of Shame.  The book is primo chick lit and a fast read to boot.

When relationship expert Darby Vaughn’s own marriage unexpectedly goes terribly awry she is forced to deal with it in the public eye.  While promoting her latest relationship book on The Today Showshe is blindsided by a reporter who informs her that there is an article in the morning newspaper proclaiming that her husband has filed for divorce.  In order to save her career and keep the respect of her fans, she attempts to weather the storm using her own advice.  With the support of her friends “The Dreamgirls”, she is able to begin to move on.  Her publicist sets her up on some highly public “dates” with a famous basketball player and a young model.  Her hijinks with these men and those that she meets starring on a reality dating show are very amusing.  In the end, Darby finds true love in an unexpected place.

A prevalent issue in this novel is stepparent’s rights.  Darby’s ex-husband, Will, was the guardian of two young children from a previous marriage.  Since Will travelled frequently, Darby acted as their primary caretaker for the duration of their marriage.  The divorce deals an ugly blow to Darby when she realizes that she will no longer be able to see the children she thinks of as her own.  Daily does a very informative job exposing the lack of stepparent’s rights in the United States.

It is understandable that a person going through a divorce might not want to allow their estranged spouse to see their stepchildren.  But, at one point in time the two people loved each other enough to get married, so each party must possess  some redeeming qualities.  I think it would be extremely hard on a child to no longer be able to see a person who parented them.

Daily is a relationship expert in real life.  This is her first novel.  This knowledge forces the reader to wonder if anything in the book is taken from her own experience.  Certainly the book idea was born out of wondering what effect an ugly public breakup would have on her own career. 

Although I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to others, I do not think it is the right fit for the book club I belong to.

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