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"Better Luck Next Time," | Reviewed by Joan Kletzker

“Better Luck Next Time,” by Julia Claiborne Johnson, is just a fun book to read. It’s set in Reno, Nevada, in 1938, the place to go for a quickie divorce. But if you filed for a divorce, there was a stipulation. You had to stay in the state for six weeks.

Margaret and Max opened the Flying Leap Dude Ranch, a divorce ranch where women could stay while waiting for their six weeks to pass. Ward, one of the “cowboys” on the ranch narrates the book.

The main characters are Nina and Emily. Nina is paying her third visit to the ranch, but Emily is a first-timer. They become friends and the humor begins. Underneath the fun and frivolity, though, there is heartbreak and sadness.

Ward becomes intertwined in both Nina and Emily’s lives and their stories. He tells his tale as he reflects back on his time at the ranch. There are clues throughout the book as to how it will end.

“Better Luck Next Time” is a sweet story, told with compassion and a lightness of heart. It moves quickly and is an easy, enjoyable read.

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