I read this book over a couple of days, thanks mainly to the antics of my own little budding felon. There is something deliciously and delightfully off-kilter about Ros Baxter’s heroines. Like Rania in Fish Out of Water, Lola just has that something different, and I love that.
Love the title! What’s Lingerie for Felons all about?
Lola’s parents told her that everyone can make a difference. And she believed them. She’s been fighting the good fights since she was eleven years old. But at 23, Lola falls hard for an Australian stockbroker who thinks Doctors Without Borders is a porno and Joni Mitchell sounds like a harp seal being battered to death. She cuts him loose, but over the next fifteen years, through protests, misunderstandings, humiliating predicaments, and a number of poor underwear choices, their lives and paths continue to converge.
Along the way, Lola learns a few important life lessons: Never wear a red lace thong to a strip search. Make sure you take motion sickness pills if you’re going to the Southern Ocean to save the whales. And sometimes, Mr Right can be all wrong, and Mr Wrong just needs time to find the right path.
Funny, touching, emotional and political, Lingerie for Felons is Bridget Jones meets An Inconvenient Truth, about doing the right thing, finding the right person, and always thinking through your underwear choices.
Here’s what I thought of Lingerie for Felons:
Gosh, this was such a lot of fun to read. Right from the opening scene, and all the way through the story, I just knew I would love Lola.
Whip-smart, passionate about the things that matter, headstrong, and with a penchant for impractical underwear, Lola lives a life in full Technicolor. I loved that she was scary-smart, yet not socially inept. I loved that her passion and commitment to social justice was both her great strength and her downfall (hence the semi-regular encounters with New York’s finest). Her heart is always in the right place, even though she may not always execute the plan properly or think it through.
Even though you don’t see a hell of a lot of Wayne physically throughout the book, I love that connection they share. In the fleeting moments that they share throughout the course of the fifteen years, you are hit with a sense that there is something electric between them.
Lola sure does get herself into some interesting pickles over the journey, and the people that inhabit her world, from Wayne to her militant romance-writing sister, from her gay Marine lawyer brother and his perpetually upbeat partner to a Japanese Brad Pitt clone, are there to support her and add a real brightness and colour to the story.
I can see what people might find a little disjointing about the style of the narrative in Lingerie for Felons – Lola’s story is told in a mixture of present time and flashbacks. Personally, I loved this. Lola’s life is one full of up and downs and changes, and this approach fits so well with that.
Ros Baxter has created yet another brilliant, fascinating story with colourful, interesting characters, real humour and emotion. Definitely a keeper!
My rating: 4.5 out of 5
Release Date: 1 March 2014
Note: I was provided with an advanced reader copy of this book by Escape Publishing via NetGalley in return for an honest review.