The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs
Heartwarming and often darkly humorous, this road trip for vengeance fairly cries out for for filming. - Kirkus
Caroline Jacobs has lost herself. She's a wife, mother (to a tattooed teenage daughter she avoids), Sears Portrait Studio photographer, and wimp. Asserting herself, taking the reins, or facing life head-on are not in her repertoire. So when Caroline suddenly cracks and screams "Fuck you!" at the PTA president, she is shocked. So is her husband. So is the PTA president. So is everyone,
But Caroline soon realizes the true cause of her outburst can be traced back to something that happened to her as a teenager, a scarring betrayal by her best friend Emily. This act changed Caroline's life forever. So, with a little bit of bravery flowing through her veins, Caroline decides to go back to her home town and confront Emily. She busts her daughter Polly out of school, and the two set off to deliver the perfect comeback, which is twenty-five years in the making. But nothing goes as planned. Long buried secrets begin to rise to the surface, and Caroline will have to face much more than one old, bad best friend.
A heartwarming story told with Matthew Dicks' signature wit, The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobsis a deceptively simple novel about the ways in which our childhood experiences reverberate through our lives, and the bravery of one woman trying to change her life and finds true understanding of her daughter, and herself, along the way.
Praise for The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs:
Shelf Awareness starred review: The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs is a fairly lighthearted look at some deep topics: bullying, personality and the influence our words and actions can have on others. Fully of quirky characters, including Polly, a brash, slightly punk, super intelligent teenager; Caroline's oddball mother; and her mother's blind boyfriend, The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs is an excellent, fast read. Matthew Dicks (Unexpectedly Milo, Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend) has created a likable, quotidian heroine; readers who like an underdog, or who had socially traumatic incidents of their own as teenagers, will be rooting for Caroline to get her revenge. --Jessica Howard, blogger at Quirky Bookworm
Whip-smart and laugh out loud funny, The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs is a book you will beg your friends to read. Sweet shy Caroline, with her newly awakened courage, will quickly become your favorite heroine. Tagging along on Caroline's surprising and inspiring journey to fix her life is both fun and empowering, reminding us that redemption lies around every corner, even in the most uncertain times. Julia Fierro, author of Cutting Teeth
Matthew Dicks expertly captures the nuances of a mother-daughter relationship with a fast-moving story that is funny, tender and wholly endearing. The Perfect Comeback . . . is a perfect feel-good read. Heidi Durrow, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Fell From the Sky
Booklist: Dicks (Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, 2012) knows high-school bullying firsthand, and his story rings true. But the strength of this novel is its well-rounded characters, notably children and teens, as they deal with life in general. Polly particularly shines in this sometimes quirky story with special appeal to all who struggled during their difficult high school years.
Kirkus: Dicks well balances Caroline's caution against Polly's pluck, Caroline's passive-aggressiveness against Polly's outrage, creating a believable mother-daughter relationship. As each secret comes to light, he shapes their initially fraught ties into strong friendship. Heartwarming and often darkly humorous, this road trip for vengeance fairly cries out for filming.
Library Journal: Dicks's fourth novel is for anyone who has wished they'd stood up for themselves or delivered that perfect comeback at just the right time.
The Greenfield Recorder: “The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs” is a charming, pretty much perfect novel: funny, touching, and insightful about what makes people tick. Connecticut author Matthew Dicks, who has hit “The New York Times” best-seller list with previous books, makes his characters believable and endearing.
SheReads.org (Ariel Lawhon): THE PERFECT COMEBACK OF CAROLINE JACOBS is an enchanting novel about the ways in which our childhood experiences reverberate through our lives. It’s the story of a woman looking to fix her life through an act of bravery, and of a mother and daughter learning to understand one another. Deceptively simple and highly engaging, this latest novel by Matthew Dicks is perfect for those of us who were last to be picked at sports, and for everyone who is thrilled not to be in high school any more.