Cynthia Hartwick's, Ladies With Options, was loaned to me by a very good friend and described as a light, fun read. It was cute, but definitely lacked substance. If the mild profanity was removed, it would be exactly the sort of book that my Grandmother would have loved. Like a cozy mystery, minus the mystery.
This is a fictional story about a group of women from Minnesota (making this beach read, a snow read) who in the 1980's strike it rich through savvy investments. There is nothing wrong structurally with the story. It's fine, but it could have been better. The story is told from the point of view of Sophia, a daughter of one of the ladies in the club. Sophia retells the stories of the various ladies and how the club became so successful. Having Sophia tell all of the stories really weakened the book. I felt like I wanted to hear the stories directly from each character, having the chapters bounce between different narrators. By using Sophia to tell all of the stories, I felt a disconnect between the characters. I didn't feel any emotional attachment to the characters. I had a difficult time telling them apart. Too many characters and no distinctive voice. Also, Sophia was a dull character to have as the narrator.
The simplistic plot was filled with easily resolved problems. If I had been invested in the characters, I would have felt more forgiving towards other aspects of the book. This story was just too simple and lacked any depth.