Today I’ve got a book that brings all the feels and deals with some tough topics while managing to be laugh-out-loud funny. Interested? Rachel Gibson’s novel How Lulu Lost Her Mind is the book for you! I think this book is making my list of top 10 favorite books of 2020.
Read on to learn more about this wonderful book!
I received an advanced copy of the book from the Gallery Books via NetGalley; all opinions are my own. This post contains some affiliate links that may earn me a commission if you purchase through them.
About the Book
How Lulu Lost Her Mind by Rachel Gibson
Published by Gallery Books on July 21, 2020
Genres: Fiction, Women, Southern, Humorous, General
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Buy from your local independent bookstore via IndieBound
From New York Times bestselling author Rachel Gibson comes the story of a mother-daughter journey to rediscover the past before it disappears forever.
Lou Ann Hunter’s mother, Patricia, has always had a passionate nature, which explains why she’s been married and divorced five times and spooned enough male patients to be ousted from three elderly care facilities. She also has Alzheimer’s, which is why she wants to spend the rest of her life surrounded by childhood memories at Sutton Hall, her family’s decrepit plantation home in Louisiana.
Lou Ann, a.k.a. Lulu the Love Guru, has built an empire preaching sex, love, and relationship advice to the women of America—mostly by defying the example her mother has set for her. But with Patricia suddenly in need of a fulltime caretaker, Lou Ann reluctantly agrees to step out of the spotlight and indulge her mother’s wishes, even if it means trading in her Louboutins and Chanel N°5 for boots and mosquito repellant.
Upon her arrival at Sutton Hall, Lou Ann discovers that very little functions as it should—least of all Patricia’s mind. And as she adjusts to this new and inevitably temporary dynamic with the help of a local handyman and a live-in nurse, she is forced to confront the reality that neither her nor her mother’s future is going according to plan.
Heartrending at times and laugh-out-loud funny at others, How Lulu Lost Her Mind is the book for everyone and their mother. Fans of Emily Giffin, Kristan Higgins, and Jill Shalvis won’t be able to forget it.
My Thoughts On How Lulu Lost Her Mind
I adored this book! It was a delightful read that I tore through in one sitting. In How Lulu Lost Her Mind, Rachel Gibson takes on the tough topics of coping with aging parents, dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, and balancing work and family in this poignant, heartwarming, and laugh-out-loud tale.
Lou Ann’s momma Patty, who is in the grips of Alzheimer’s, is a larger than life character. For the third time, a nursing home kicks her out due to her “passionate” nature and leaves her in Lou Ann’s care. (The full reason for Patty’s eviction made me spit out my coffee – no spoilers here.)
Patty asks to be taken back to the family home in Louisiana, which turns out to be an aging money pit. Lou Ann puts her business on hold and takes her to Sutton House. With the house, Patty inherited a half-plucked mouthy parrot by the name of Raphael and a hundred of years of hoarded family mementos and family scandals and secrets. There’s also a handsome handyman, a family cemetery with a definite pecking order for the buried, humidity, crocodiles, and bad fashion.
Mothers and Daughters
Their mother-daughter relationship is more than complicated. The move brings a lot of conflicting feelings and memories to the surface at the same time that Lou Ann is hoping to connect with her. Patty is alternately mean, maddening, or delightful, and Lou Ann never knows which version of her mom she’ll get, only some of it a factor of Patty’s Alzheimers, but frustrating nonetheless. Still, she has an “a-ha” moment in the midst of memories of earlier visits.
The author has crafted characters that feel real and who you want to root for. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how I felt about Lou Ann OR her mom at the start of the book, but when the three women arrive at Sutton House, their layers of personality really started to show, and that’s where I really begain to settle in for the ride. Lou Ann grows a lot through the course of the book.
Gibson balances the tougher aspects of the book with her great characters, fantastic, snappy dialogue, some truly laugh-out-loud scenes, and a wonderfully depicted setting. It’s very relatable, especially for anyone who’s dealt with an aging parent.
How Lulu Lost her Mind is definitely one of my favorites this year!
Looking for something else that’s a wonderful balance of heartfelt and humor? Check out my review of Anxious People by Fredrik Backman.