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Bunco: A Comedy About The Drama of Friendship by Robin Delnoce
Genre: Women’s Fiction || My Review Rating: ♥♥♥♥
463 Pages | Published: August 15, 2020 by Manacle Publishing
Book Jacket Synopsis
We all have “those” friends. Maybe you’ve known them since childhood, or met in college, or while waiting for a child’s practice to end. Maybe you found yourself living on the same street. There’s no single path to friendship. Relationships don’t follow a script and neither do the lives of smart, funny, complicated suburban women.
Jill, Anne, Mary, and Rachel met years ago through a neighborhood group that regularly got together to play a dice game called bunco. Although players have come and gone, they continue to use bunco as an excuse to abandon their day-to-day responsibilities and enjoy food, drinks, and the company of their best friends.
When new neighbors move in under the cover of night, the foursome sees an opportunity to expand their bunco circle. But within hours, suspicions run rampant as the odd behaviors of the newest residents are interpreted differently. Are they quirky, or kinky? Diabolical, or misunderstood? Time after time, as the truth sheds light on some secrets, more emerge. Each woman finds herself shocked by the friends she thought she knew.
Through the friendly banter, intimate confessions, and tongue-twisting insults, you may see yourself or your friends in these characters. Wipe away tears of laughter and loss as you join the four metaphorical rounds of bunco, and feel part of the conversation. Whether engaging in playful exploits, providing unconditional support, making uncomfortable sacrifices, or winding up in handcuffs again, these ladies are those rarest of friends who become true family. Of course, families don’t follow a script either, unless it is a plot-twisting, slightly off-color comedy about the drama of friendship. And bunco, sort of.
Book Links: Amazon | Goodreads | Author Guest Post
Review & Thoughts
Initial Thoughts: I received a print copy gifted from the author via Kelsey at Book Publicity Services. I was so surprised when the book arrived because it’s a unique book size and writing style format that I’ve never seen before in a women’s fiction novel; essentially an oversized paperback and written like a play. It took a while to get used to the book format and though I didn’t fall in love with the format, I did enjoy the book. It also came with a super sweet hand-written note from the author and a pair of dice.
The story is written in four parts and each book is essentially a novella that makes up the whole book. The main characters are the same but each section of the book is a completely different story line, like reading four novellas into one.
Themes, Elements & Notes: The book was interesting and entertaining. Filled with drama and sorrow, love and selfishness. A plethora of dramas and tragedies. Kind of felt like watching a tv mini series with four long episodes. Lots of drama – both realistic and somewhat far-fetched.
I laughed that the group doesn’t actually play bunco, hasn’t played in years. My mom has a group of friends that does the same thing; way back in the day they had a bunco group but over the years it turned into an ongoing social get together but they still called it a bunco group and get together for bunco.
In a Nutshell: Unique book format in terms of size and writing style. Great pick if you enjoy tv mini series style entertainment.
Book Format & Source: Paperback gifted from the author. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
About Robin Delnoce
Robin Delnoce has the kind of sense of humor that would crush any political aspirations. Her off-color humor amuses most but offends a few, and she has been known to issue a post-party apology or two. After twenty years of being caught in her verbal crosshairs, her husband kindly suggested she shift her energies to a more constructive outlet.
To learn more, visit https://buncothebook.com/
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Blog articles: Exclusive guest post written by the author Robin Delnoce
Excerpt of the Book:
EMERGENCY AREA WAITING ROOM – DAWN
The early morning daylight begins to fill the foyer of a hospital waiting room packed with police officers.
ANNE HUTCHINSON, an athletic, petite woman in her early 40s, is sitting dazed and exhausted in bloodstained clothes.
JILL MICHAELS stands behind Anne with her phone to her ear. Over a decade has passed since Jill’s tenure as Miss South Carolina ended, but she currently reigns over the local elementary school as parent council president. She masks her anxiety with her polished manners and pleasant southern accent.
Good morning Miss Lowe, this is Mrs. Michaels. I hope your morning is going well. Would you be a dear and let Mrs. Kaiser know I won’t be able to attend today’s parent council meeting?
A police officer watches Jill closely as he patrols the room. She reads the judgment on the officer’s face.
Actually, I may not be able to attend tomorrow’s fundraiser either. I’ll call y’all back as soon as I know. Thank you so much, Miss Lowe.
Jill ends her call, sighs heavily, and takes a seat next to Anne.
RACHEL EASTON, a mid-40s, Midwest-born, and Irish-proud woman, is asleep on the opposite chair. Handcuffs dangle from one of Rachel’s wrists. When awake, Rachel harbors a deep and painful secret that manifests itself in belligerent and self-destructive behavior.
A NURSE passes by the three women. The aroma emanating from Rachel’s general vicinity stops her in her tracks.
How long has this homeless woman been sleeping here?
She’s not homeless. She’s with us.
The nurse shakes her head in disgust and continues on her way.
MARY HUESTON approaches the women with coffee in her hands. Now in her early 40s, Mary has traded her Hollywood acting auditions for youth soccer games, and her figure has become less “soap opera star” and more “community bake sale.” She hands Jill and Anne the steaming Styrofoam cups.
Here. Should we wake Rachel?
Mary begins to take a seat next to Rachel but quickly pivots to allow more breathing room. They each deeply inhale the cup’s contents to mask the aroma.
She’s been through a lot. Let’s let her sleep.
We’ve all been through a lot.
Mary notices Anne staring off in the distance.
How ya doing Anne?
Anne slowly brings her attention to Mary.
Anne silently examines her bloodstained clothes, contemplates her predicament, and shakes her head in disbelief.
(Under her breath)
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