Let me begin by saying that this is the funniest book I have ever read, and that the reason is it is so true to life that I felt I knew each and ever character. Marilee Abernathy has come to the end of her rope. The wife of a defrocked Southern Baptist preacher who left her for the town whore, taking her son with him, she feels she just cannot go on any longer, and dresses up to commit suicide. At the last minute, she changes her mind, emitting a horrifying scream when the noose slips, and thus, Sam Brewer, the man she loved from afar in high school, sails into her life, summoned by her cry.
Sam has his own problems. He came home to tend to his supposedly ill mother, and finds it more difficult than he bargained for. Now, he has to add in Marilee, his next-door neighbor, and her assorted problems - and they are many! Besides being jilted, Marilee has been bullied into taking in a rather imposing young, pregnant woman out of Christian duty and gets no sympathy from any of her friends for her plight. In addition, she is working two jobs - first for the undertaker (a challenge for her since she is scared of dead people!), and then as a saloon singer, much to the dismay of anyone who finds out. Somehow, amidst this chaos, the Sam and Marilee find the love they missed the first time around. But can they hold on to this second chance?
I laughed more while reading this book than I have ever remembered! It is so tempting to tell you about what happens with the funeral home, or what happens to her second boss, or - you get the picture! Just read this book. It is wonderful. Sam is just the kind of man we all could use. Rich, handsome, yet down to earth. Marilee is confused and confounded, but she handles life remarkably well, becoming a stronger person over the course of the novel. I kind of wanted to slap her unsympathetic friends, but I did love Sam's mama, and Winnie, the pregnant girl. For fans of Stephanie Plum books, Winnie is a teenager version of Lula! If there can be a follow up to this book, I hope it comes soon.