Book Review: The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs

The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs by Matthew Dicks

Goodreads Summary:
Caroline Jacobs is a wimp, someone who specializes in the suffering of tiny indignities in silence. And the big ones, too. But when the twinset-wearing president of the local Parent Teacher Organization steps out of line one too many times, Caroline musters the courage to assert herself. With a four-letter word, no less.

Caroline’s outburst has awakened something in her. Not just gumption, but a realization that the roots of her tirade can be traced back to something that happened to her as a teenager, when her best friend very publicly betrayed her. So, with a little bit of bravery, Caroline decides to go back to her home town and tell off her childhood friend. She busts her daughter out of school, and the two set off to deliver the perfect comeback…some twenty-five years later. But nothing goes as planned. Long buried secrets rise to the surface, and Caroline finds she has to face much more than one old, bad best friend.

The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs is an enchanting novel about the ways in which our childhood experiences reverberate through our lives. It’s the story of a woman looking to fix her life through an act of bravery, and of a mother and daughter learning to understand one another. Deceptively simple and highly engaging, this latest novel by Matthew Dicks is perfect for those of us who were last to be picked at sports, and for everyone who is thrilled not to be in high school any more.

My Review:
This book had an enjoyable story. It’s about a woman who’s been rather timid all of her life until one day she has an outburst at a PTA meeting at her daughter’s high school. The next day her daughter punches the PTA president’s daughter in the nose. Knowing her daughter will be suspended, Caroline Jacobs pulls her out of school, and the two women set off from Maryland to Massachusetts to confront Caroline’s high school bully.

I really loved the mother-daughter dynamics of this story, especially because Polly was an amazingly strong and bold young woman, while her mother was a complete pushover. I am not a fan of weak women, but Caroline went through some nice personal development in this story, so it was bearable.

This book is really short (214 pages), so it was an easy read. But there were some inconsistencies in the backstory that made it confusing at times. I wasn’t clear on when Caroline’s father had left in relation to the other horrors of her past.

Overall, this book left me wanting more from the characters and from the plot. It was just OK.

My Rating: 3 stars
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