Life Rolls Along

Romance - Comedy
379 Pages
Reviewed on 11/06/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite

Life Rolls Along by Linda Nielsen is one of those novels that mixes absurdity with the seriousness, social commentary, and tenderness that we all look for in fiction. Skye Topple’s marriage is not turning into the ideal union that he hoped for. His wife, Delaney Mae Anne, is an oaf much like the woman who conceived her, Terri Sue Ellen. His mother-in-law tries her best but often falls short in matching wits with his mother, Melissa. Even if his life threatens to crumble, Skye tries his best to keep it together. But when Paddington Burke, the son of a real-estate mogul, sets his eyes on Delaney, it becomes a different ballgame as his social-climbing in-laws push their daughter into the affair to level up their social standing. Skye joins forces with Radcliff Beauregard von Campe, his mother-in-law’s unwanted stepbrother, for a plan that is backed up with enough facts to make his in-laws chew their fingernails.

Life Rolls Along is a novel that examines human discontent under a humorous lens. It does not limit itself to the complications of human relationships, as the title suggests that life must move on, and Linda Nielsen gets creative and ambitious with how she makes her protagonist handle his affairs. Skye Topple will eventually win your admiration by fighting for what he thinks is right. Nielsen writes with intensity as she doesn’t make it easy for Skye to get there. She creates many complications for him, and it is a lot of fun to trail Skye on how he navigates his way out of them. Life Rolls Along also makes some well-aimed observations about society and pokes satirical fun at the well-to-do, showing that being rich is not the answer. It turns out to be a touching romantic comedy.

Grant Leishman

Life Rolls Along by Linda Nielsen is a humorous take on gentility, romance, family, and southern belles. It only took four weeks of Skye Topple’s honeymoon for him to realize he may have made an enormous mistake in marrying the boss’s daughter, Delaney. Bred from southern aristocratic, old-money stock, Delaney shows all the signs of quickly turning into her mother, Terri Sue Ellen, an alcoholic and totally batty former southern belle. When Terri Sue Ellen’s unknown half-brother, RB, turns up demanding half of his father’s estate, Terri Sue Ellen is unsure what is worse; that she has a half-brother or that her supposed half-brother is, as she so eloquently puts it, of the darker persuasion. Delaney, her mother, and her rich daddy, Charles, founder of Tech World International, also rapidly decide that perhaps Skye was not the best or most appropriate husband for their beloved Delaney. A plan is quickly hatched to remedy the situation.

Life Rolls Along takes a jaundiced and, at times, funny look at manners, relationships, and family. Author Linda Nielsen has created a cast of over-the-top and overdrawn characters to highlight the satirical nature of the plot which, although bringing an element of real farce into the narrative, works to accentuate the point of the story. I particularly loved the most over-drawn of the characters: the lush know-it-all Terri Sue Ellen. Her incredible naivety as to the realities of life and especially the intricacies of other races and cultures was an absolute joy to behold. I also enjoyed the relationship between her and her long-suffering yet equally devoted husband, Charles, who had long ago developed the ability to tune out the bulk of Terri Sue Ellen’s ridiculous and inane pronouncements. The introduction of a long-lost African-American relative was also an inspired choice which gave some of the more bittersweet pronouncements from Terri Sue Ellen and daughter Delaney. This is not deep philosophical reading. It is light, frothy, and full of fun, to be read as an antidote for the serious stuff in the world. The author’s style is easy, relaxed, and fully in the vernacular of the southern belles and aristocratic world that they inhabit. It’s truly a relaxing and enjoyable read that I can recommend for a touch of light relief.

Jennifer Ibiam

Husbands were not forthcoming for Delaney, so her parents Terri and Charles had to shop for one. The “lucky” man was Skye Topple, who got a job and half a condo with the package. While the new couple tried to navigate married life, Terri’s African-American half-brother, RB, showed up, demanding a slice of her father’s fortune or a conditional denouncement. With two misfits in the family business and the quest for more wealth, the Covingtons planned to sell the company and invest in real estate, leaving Skye and RB out in the cold. As if that wasn’t enough, Terri and Charles offered Delaney to their new business partner as a deal sweetener. Will Skye give up his career and marriage? Find out in the dramatic Life Rolls Along by Linda Nielsen.

Life Rolls Along by Linda Nielsen is a novel that will appeal to almost everyone. It incorporates humor, greed, racism, heavy doses of arrogance, and pure delusion. I loved the sound plot and engaging storyline. The Shuberts, Topples, and Covingtons were in different categories of “unhinged,” but the Covingtons hit a grand slam. I have never experienced a female duo so deliberately obtuse, selfish, confidently ignorant, and faux refined. I laughed so much at Terri’s and Delaney’s antics, and I was super irritated at other times. This novel showed the relationship between the rich and the perceived poor, the whites and persons of color, and how low the wealthy will sink to accumulate or protect their riches. Linda told a beautiful story with depth and beautiful, unforgettable characters. Please, write more, Linda.