REVIEW: Mr and Mrs American Pie, Juliet McDaniel

Monday, 6 August 2018

The year is 1969. Dick Nixon was just sworn in as the thirty-seventh President of the United States. Neil Armstrong just took one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind. And notable Palm Springs socialite Maxine Simmons just found out that her husband is leaving her for his twenty-two-year-old secretary.  After a public meltdown at Thanksgiving, Maxine finds herself not only divorced, but exiled to Scottsdale, Arizona. However, these desert boondocks will not be her end―only her Elba. The former beauty queen sets her eyes on a new crown: that of the Mrs. American Pie pageant, awarded to the nation’s best wife and mother.  Maxine only has one problem: to win the crown she’ll need to find―or build―a family of her own

While Mr and Mrs American Pie is near-universally adored, I had a rather different opinion. I mean, it is a satirical novel after-all and therefore its primary goal was to make me laugh. And, I didn’t.
...Maybe I have an odd sense of humour.
Or just high-standards.
Either way, instead of coming off as amusing, both the events and the characters of Mr and Mrs American Pie drove me up the wall. More and more it seems that people are missing the mark when it comes to satire, and are continuously failing to exaggerate things enough to turn it from character traits that people may actually have to holy-fuck-look-at-that-guy.
Literary fiction satire this was not. Instead, the characters (and some of the writing) would have fit far better into a Young Adult novel, because that’s the age they came off as. And (unpopular opinion here once again) unlike many of the other people who read this book, I think that this was only exacerbated by the inclusion of the other points of view that weren’t Maxine and instead, I feel as though this book would’ve gotten a slightly higher rating if it had just focussed solely on her.
It was heading in the right direction, yes, but there is no doubt that it failed to achieve its goal.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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