I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation. The book is The Pre-Nup by Beth Kendrick.
Getting engaged, now there’s a calm, soothing, stress free time in a person’s life. It’s like a warm hug of rainbows followed by a puppy picnic in the park! Okay, that’s the first 30 seconds. After that, its all self medication and crying in the bathroom. And to anyone considering planning their own wedding like I did? You’ll need three things a concealed weapons permit, a helmet, and a lot of minutes on your cell phone. Then, you’re good to go. Anyway, getting engaged is a stress parade, we know that. So it’s not a huge surprise that most non-celebrity couples do not elect to slather on another layer of anxiety by dragging the lawyers into it. Do you know anyone who has a pre-nup? I guess if I had a trust fund or any assets at all it might have crossed my mind. But it just seems so defeatist. ‘I love you forever, my darling, my sunshine, but just in case, I want to make sure you wind up living in a cardboard box under an overpass. Kisses!’
In Beth Kendrick’s The Pre-Nup, we meet three women who are wondering about the wisdom of signing on the dotted line. Ellie learns that not only is her husband a philandering creep, he’s a creep who’s getting her thrown out of her own house. Mara’s intended slid in a ‘don’t be a great big cheater’ clause, what does that say? And Jen and Eric’s relationship is so complicated I can’t even begin to explain it, suffice to say she’s in hot water as well.
So who do these contracts protect? It seems like the partner with the better lawyer until Alex shows up. Halfway through The Pre-nup the characters take a trip to Vegas, and we meet exotic dancer, part time couples counselor, full time scene stealer Alex. She changes the balance of power and the lives of at least one of our three friends. I found her unbelievably perfect and convenient, but Kendrick’s writing is strong enough to make her more than a plot device. (Eric is one of those minor characters that was nicely written enough that I might have developed a tiny crush. Is that weird?)
On its face, The Pre-Nup follows a simple structure three friends lean on each other through some very difficult times. But Kendrick has a light and thoughtful hand and she’s also quite funny! A comedy about tragedy. Well done!