Book Review: Desperation Lingers by Anthony Paull

desperation lingers

 

Desperation Lingers

Author: Anthony Paull

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Romance

Desperation Lingers doesn’t want to die! She simply wants to break the habit of living another disastrous day. A guidance counselor at a Miami second chance school, she longs to be a teacher but sends the students scattering like roaches, calling her beastly names. Principal Hector Rivera says she’s too high society, unable to relate. His criticism would be easier to take if the two weren’t having a rocky, not-so-private affair. Still reeling from a series of failed marriages can she prove to Hector — everyone — that she has what it takes to lead a class? Recruiting three unlikely students, she devises a secret plan to instruct Miami’s greatest social misfits the one subject she knows best — etiquette. But who’s teaching whom? And in the end, to what depths will Desperation plunge to learn the truth about life, love, and being a lady? 

A romance of hilarity in the most nontraditional sense!

 

My Rating

 4.5

 

Favorite Quotes:

 

“Once I had it all – a chest that would chin up and smile, a pearl of a pet cat, and a husband who’d wake to warm me with a kiss.  Now I can’t get a text to wink.”

“Now, had I been born with beauty instead of brains I certainly would have made the radar of a successful campus man.  However, I was blessed with distinct attributes such as the beak of a Great Blue Heron.”

“Granted, I may not be the freshest hen at the market but my expiration date hasn’t hit yet.”

“Have you ever noticed how ‘I have to tell you something’ is often followed by something you never needed to hear?”

“Is it a challenge?  I watch her taillights fade, and I press the gas, slow and steady.  I know better than to race.  I’m in no state for it.  I’m not interested in a duel until I catch a glimpse of her arm slip out of the window.  She extends her middle fingers, and it’s ON.”

“We all connect, all energy waiting to inevitably take on a new form.  We’re so quick, so fast to need heaven it sets the fire of hell at our hells.”

My Review:

 

I would bet that Anthony Paull has a high IQ as well as a bright future as a writer, playwright, and/or pundit.  I also suspect that he has been a woman in a previous life – as he sooo gets it!  His Desperation Lingers is a delicious treat of smart humor. While reading, I had marked so many “Favorite Quotes,” I had a hard time narrowing it down to my favorite 6!   It wasn’t a fast read, as I feared if I read too fast, I would miss the pun, the irony, the twisted self-depreciating insults and insights.  I adored them, however painful or embarrassing the truth turned out to be.  Our heroine “Dee,” has suffered a variety of unique yet major losses, in rather odd ways.  She realizes she is feeling isolated and decides to make a renewed effort of self-improvement, and while trying desperately to find and make connections with others – she tends to simultaneously push them away.  Seeing herself as “a work of art,” Dee tends to attract and collect a cavalcade of other peculiar people (good and bad) and she just cannot seem to shake or rid herself of them despite her best, and worst, efforts.  She has startling moments of clarity, often while intoxicated and embarrassing herself to no end.  Hmm, know that feeling… I found Dee to be surprising resilient, despite her many mistakes and regrets, and applauded when finally starts putting her puzzle together.  This book is wicked funny, yet poignant and painfully perceptive.  I smirked, chuckled, and even laughed aloud more than a few times.  At other times, my breath hitched and my eyes felt a rare sting behind them.  I loved every nuance and revelation, as well as the inner dialog that tended to jump around like a Chihuahua on crack, although most of “us gals” hear that same scattered inner voice, did I mention that he gets it?

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Anthony Paull

About this author

Anthony Paull began his writing career as the syndicated columnist of ‘The Dating Diet,’ a column which appeared in over 20 alternative newspaper publications. He has published two novels, the NPR Best YA Ever Finalist ‘Outtakes of a Walking Mistake’ and ‘Desperation Lingers.’ He has also directed several short films and music videos, which have appeared on the North American film festival circuit. As an entertainment journalist, he has covered Sundance and SXSW. He is presently working on his third novel.

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