Thorndike Press

Better Luck Next Time

  • Julia Claiborne Johnson
  • Offered By:
  • ISBN-10: 0063062968
  • ISBN-13: 9780063062962
  • Shipping Weight: .75 lbs ( .34 kgs)
  • Paperback
  • Published/Released January 2021

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It’s 1938 and women seeking a quick, no-questions split from their husbands head to the “divorce capital of the world,” Reno, Nevada. There’s one catch: they have to wait six-weeks to become “residents.” Many of these wealthy, soon-to-be divorcees flock to the Flying Leap, a dude ranch that caters to their every need.

Twenty-four-year-old Ward spent one year at Yale before his family lost everything in the Great Depression; now he’s earning an honest living as a ranch hand at the Flying Leap. Admired for his dashing good looks — “Cary Grant in cowboy boots” — Ward thinks he’s got the Flying Leap’s clients all figured out. But two new guests are about to upend everything he thinks he knows: Nina, a St Louis heiress and amateur pilot back for her third divorce, and Emily, whose bravest moment in life was leaving her cheating husband back in San Francisco and driving herself to Reno.

A novel about divorce, marriage, and everything that comes in between (money, class, ambition, and opportunity), Better Luck Next Time is a hilarious yet poignant examination of the ways friendship can save us, love can destroy us, and the family we create can be stronger than the family we come from.


Customer Reviews

“Johnson’s rollicking comedy sizzles, thanks to the immensely appealing voice of its aging narrator . . . brims with the clever banter and farcical situations of a classic Capra film."

— Publishers Weekly (starred)

“An engrossing portrait of 1930s Reno...witty and charming.”

— Booklist

“Channels Frank Capra’s screwball comedies . . . There is a delightful sense of closure in the way Johnson wraps up this shiny package, which arrives just after New Year’s like a late holiday gift.”

— Christian Science Monitor