The Year Mrs. Cooper Got Out More

A Great Wharf Novel

Fiction - Womens
476 Pages
Reviewed on 11/16/2015
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Author Biography

Meredith Marple is a former independent publisher and current writer of memoir and fiction. New England-born, she spent most of her childhood in Cleveland, Ohio, before returning to college in Massachusetts. With a B.S. in zoology from Tufts University, she enjoyed a career in educational publishing before switching over to trade publishing and then writing.

She may have left esoteric aspects of "hard science" behind her, but she never lost her love for the life sciences, evidenced by a fascination with human and animal behavior that permeates her writing. In her debut novel, THE YEAR MRS. COOPER GOT OUT MORE, a moose and a cat play key cameo roles while psychology, friendship, lust, healing potions, pills, and love boost and complicate the humans' lives. In her debut memoir essay, WHAT TOOK SO LONG?, personal relationships take center stage.

Marple splits her time between Maine, where her novel is set, and Florida, where she learned mahjong as described in her essay.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Tina Gibbons for Readers' Favorite

The Year Mrs. Cooper Got Out More by Meredith Marple describes a group of people in the Great Wharf area. Several characters have had traumatic experiences that shape their behaviors in the book. Jean lost her husband, Richie's father, to an accident. Mallory has a childhood incident buried that she needs to deal with. There is a nosy, gossiping neighbor, an eligible doctor who refuses to give up bachelorhood, and a sexy redhead who runs a New Age business. The redhead wants the doctor. The doctor is in a friendship with benefits and his lover mysteriously dies. He finds himself attracted to Jean but they don't make their dating known to avoid the rumor mill. Mallory's husband grows weary of dealing with her paranoia and drinking, but he is supportive and loyal as the mysteries of her past and of the strange things presently happening are revealed.

Meredith Marple did an excellent job in this novel. I enjoyed all the characters and the Maine setting of The Year Mrs. Cooper Got Out More. Mallory and Jean's struggles were real. Empathy came naturally for them and I rooted for them to find happiness in their lives and success in their love lives. Doris was quirky and entertaining. I was impressed by the way Dwight handled his marriage troubles. Siren Angie really knew how to stir up trouble and spice up the plot. I couldn't put this book down. The mystery flowed smoothly and kept me curious. The story was addictive and I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. The author's voice was pleasing and constant and the polished prose stood out as stellar. This is one of my favorite reads this year. I strongly recommend it.