Cover Image: The Lockhart Women

The Lockhart Women

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Member Reviews

Sadly this was not a book that I enjoyed as much as I would have liked. I couldn't seem to connect with the characters and just didn't really enjoy the storyline. There are some excellent reviews for this but I it just wasn't for me. 

Thank you Netgalley.
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I was in high school during the O.J. Simpson trial. I can remember the way our country felt and the way the trial dominated the conversations. Mary Camarillo writes the O.J. trial into the background of this story in a way that is interesting and draws us in. She has also created some of the most unlikable characters I've ever encountered. She writes about the people you know exist, but you do your best to avoid them.

I kept reading, despite having no real connection to any of the characters. I am glad I did. Overall, it's a good book- it is not an escape from real life, but it is a reminder of what real life can become with a few bad decisions.
 
The publisher made a copy of this book available via Netgalley. This is my honest review.
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With the OJ Simpson trial in the background, Brenda finds her marriage and her standard of living  changing. Reality of divorce and loss of income change Brenda and her 2 young daughters lives.  Treatment of women is included as a theme in this story that makes it much more real. A family torn apart and their way back to a new working relationship.
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Mary Camarillo's debut novel uses the OJ Simpson trial as a backdrop and distraction for Brenda as she navigates the end of her marriage. Spanning 1994 to 2008, the novel centres around the lives of badass Brenda and her two daughters as they cope with divorce, relocation, finances, jobs and relationships. I particularly enjoyed the swift, snappy dialogue. It's an interesting concept executed well. The characters are well-rounded and I found it to be an unexpectedly compulsive read.
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I was excited for this book based on the synopsis but unfortunately this book fell flat for me. I didn’t finish the book because I didn’t find any of the characters likable and didn’t care what happened.
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Thank you to the author, She Writes Press and NetGalley, for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This story of a family slowly disintegrating skillfully weaves in various strands that lead to broader themes like gender roles, race and ethnic issues, and how the cult of celebrity jerks our attention away from that which should be at the forefront of our minds, and can numb us to our circumstances. Although none of the characters are likeable, I found myself caring about them as they move through their lives, wrestle with questions about their future and slowly take steps away from the destructive behavior each of them is caught in. Their individual stories, and their interaction as the book draws to a close, circles back and shows how a once disintegrating family can - at least in parts - come back together in new and healing ways.
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Obviously I do not like giving negative reviews as authors pour all their heart into the books they write, but I am afraid The Lockhart Women simply did not live up to my expectations. 

There is huge potential in a book of three women who have to fend for themselves when the husband/father ups and leaves. Unfortunately, I found each of the women to be so unlikable that it was hard to feel for them. Brenda was vain and mean, Peggy came a cross as a doormat and Allison just seems so superficial. 

Now, I know I am in the minority on this one, and many other advance readers have given this book 4 or 5 stars and I will say that this is indeed an easy read. The relationship bonds between the woman are strong and endure all the difficult situations and bad decisions made by the individual women. The background of the O.J. Simpson trial was well done and the writing is good. For me, the story got better as it progressed, but I simply have a hard time liking a book where I cannot identify or connect with the main cast of characters.
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This book seemed like it had an interesting premise. A little bit soap opera-ish, but it had possibilities.  Frank leaves Brenda for another woman. The story is based on Brenda and her two teenage daughters trying to get their life in order after the breakup.

None of the characters are endearing. Daughter Allison is stuck up and lives in her own fantasy world. She has a boyfriend who treats her like crap and is a druggie. Daughter Peggy is the smartest of the daughters but she spends her time being a people pleaser and letting people use her. Brenda is obsessed with the OJ Simpson events and cannot believe that Frank left her for a woman less attractive than she is. She also has a drinking problem. And Frank is a manipulator, and a cheater. Great ex-husband material

I was not crazy about the writing in this book. It was quite jumpy….one minute they were talking about going to an upcoming wedding, the next sentence has them looking for their place cards at the reception. This happens throughout the book…..there is no transition or flow between scenes. It just happens. 

In the back ground of the story, the events of OJ Simpson were happening. The murder, the trial and the verdict. It was an interesting distraction. Perhaps there was some hidden symbolism in this fact but I have no idea what it is.

The last 10% of the story finally redeemed itself. It was a long way to go before the characters seemed to turn their lives around. But, I guess it promotes the fact that there is always hope. 

There are a lot of 5 star reviews for this book. I really wish I could have liked it more. It did keep me reading…..I guess I wanted to find out how it would turn out for this totally dysfunctional and unlikeable family.   

The ending was satisfying.
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What happens to a family when the father has an affair.   This book examines that, amid the backdrop of the famous OJ Simpson case.  This book took me back in time.    I enjoyed it but did struggle in parts.  My first book by this author and definitely not my last !
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One selfish act by Frank Lockhart will forever change the trajectory of the lives of his wife and two daughters. The only person I liked for the majority of the book was Peggy. She had a plan And ambition. She made a bad choice but dealt with it. Brenda floundered for much of the book and I liked her much better after she got her act together. I didn't care for Allison at all. It was an interesting plot, to revolve around the OJ Simpson saga. I can remember awaiting the verdict, very similar to the office scene depicted in the book.
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Fun book about the normal things in life. A favorite for sure. 

Thanks to author, publisher and NetGalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.
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The Lockhart Women follows California  stay-at-home mom Brenda and her two daughters in the 1990s.  Peggy is more studious and planning to attend college but her plans get a bit derailed when her parents separate and get divorced. Younger daughter Allison is wrapped up in her boyfriend, Kevin, who is the high school sports star and not always nice to her. 

Mom Brenda is very concerned with looks and appearances with little regard to their financial situation. She is also wrapped up in the OJ Simpson trial to the point she basically ignores what is going on with her daughters. It was interesting to go back to all the reminders of the trial and how involved we all were in it. 

I really got into the story and characters. The ending was quite satisfying. Great read!
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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I did not enjoy this book.  The story was about a family (mother, father, 2 teenage daughters) that I could not abide. The father left for another woman, the mother was vain and the girls were bratty.  The story was cliche. This was a story that many people lived, myself included, except that my mother was very strong-willed and capable and I wasn’t a brat.
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A wonderful book about how a family struggles when the father has an affair and leaves.  For the first time in her life the mother must get a job, the teenage daughters find their standard of living changing, plans for college are tossed aside -everyone suffers.  We follow them through the years and eventually they come out the other side, bruised, battered but still standing.
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This book will make your life choices seem not so bad. In all honesty it’s just a great book about 3 women just trying to make it through life. They have huge ups and downs just like anyone else. It’s well done and the story moves and developed over time.
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Travel has been so restricted in the current pandemic that fictional travel to 1990s Southern California provided a breath of fresh air – even if the literary family I got to join was a highly dysfunctional one. It seems as if the Lockhart women who make up this dysfunctional family in Huntington Beach, Southern California never learn. Mother Brenda and her  two daughters make mistake after mistake. Should Brenda finally grow up? Should eldest daughter Peggy have gone to university after all? Should younger daughter Allison really follow her heart and enter into a relationship with attractive but deceptive Californian boy Kevin? Throughout their trials and tribulations, the television blares steadily in the background as Brenda is becoming fascinated with the O.J. Simpson trials, little aware that her daughters’ lives are falling apart. This is a brilliant character study and slice of 1990s Southern California, and it was hard for me to believe that novel is in fact Mary Camarillo’s debut novel. More from this accomplished author please! Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the free eARC generously provided in exchange for this honest and unbiased review.
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The Lockhart Women was enjoyable enough. It’s a topic that’s been done many times so it’s hard to find a fresh take. I liked it enough.
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This is a novel sent to me by Netgalley on Kindle for review...I could not get into this story...the OJ story has been done...the characters are not redeemable.  The story of the other woman and a husband/dad who leaves and causes problems for a wife and daughters who have problems already...just maintain the story is like so,any others...
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4.5 stars 

The titular Lockhart women include Brenda, the mother; Peggy, the book smart oldest daughter; and Allison, the stunning youngest daughter. When readers meet the characters, the unusual structure of the novel becomes clear; the entire work is punctuated by O.J. Simpson-related moments. While I wasn't quite sure how I felt about this at first, I grew to love not only the ways in which it transported me back to these exact times in my own life (especially as a Southern California native who is very close to the age of the daughters here) but also to how this broader structure enhances the themes throughout the work. 

Camarillo expertly draws forth the sense of time and place here. I was - for better and for worse - transported right back into these places and moments, and to me that is a powerful testament to the writer's skill. I didn't feel like I was just observing the characters; I felt like they were living in an alternate universe right alongside my past self. This is a standout aspect of this novel for me. 

The three central characters are challenging in the sense that they are all constantly making anxiety provoking, terrible choices. Rather than feeling frustrated with these choices, I found myself tearing through this novel to find out what they'd do next, if they'd overcome, and generally what sort of messages they'd send about women's potential at this time. 

Because the central characters are white, it makes sense that they would have had less awareness of the racial tensions that most people experience/d in direct relation to this case. There is one particularly well executed scene in a restroom post-verdict that captures this privileged detachment and simultaneous hint of awareness. I'd have liked to see a bit more of that as well as some tying up of loose ends (that I'll leave vague to remain spoiler-free). 

I enjoyed this very much, and I am already having that sense that I will appreciate it even more over time. 

TW: sexual assault, rape, domestic violence, and discussions of the Simpson crime scene, etc.
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