Delia Ephron had me hooked with “You’ve Got Mail”—a movie, yes, but the dialogue still kills, years later. When “The Lion is In,” arrived at the library, I was one of the first to snatch it up. And she doesn’t disappoint. This novel, about three women on the path to self-discovery on their way down South and through a run-down bar, was a perfect afternoon/evening distraction.
The story centers on Lana, Tracee and Rita, who find each other along a rural stretch of highway, most definitely in the middle of nowhere. More than just a metaphor, the highway leads them to their savior, in the form of a lion named Marcel. I didn’t quite “get” it at first—the book jacket is telling me that a lion changes their lives. Really? Oh, but yes.
There’s something identifiable within each of these ladies—what, I won’t say. I just know for me, there was something about each one of them that spoke to me. It made the book so much more enjoyable, as each has to climb out from behind their fears and confront the future. Sometimes, it’s with humility and grace, other times, it’s with some pretty outrageous humor.
And it’s not just the relationships the girls have with each other (or themselves, though, really, that’s what the book is about and those are the most profound)—the guys are pretty interesting as well. From Clayton the bar owner and his assistant, Tim, to Tucker the cop and the downright disturbing Harry, the men play the perfect foils. Above all, Marcel the lion is really the guy who turns it all around, without ever saying a word. (Or eating anyone—sorry, gore lovers.)
This is one of those books I would love to see turned into a movie. I wouldn’t even mind if LiLo played Lana. (You’d think she’s more of a Tracee, but I gotta say she brings the crazy that would make Lana jump off the screen.)
This makes for a great weekend read—put it on your list for the beach bag this summer.
The Lion is In