Book Club: Good Christian Bitches

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If it’s got Kristin Chenoweth (Wicked, Glee) in it, it’s got my attention. That’s why I was initially attracted to the new television show premiering on March 4 on ABC. Then I found out it was based on a book and I dialed up my public library to get on the list to check it out.

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La divine Chenoweth stars as Carlene Cockburn (in a compilation of characters from the novel), a society maven of one of Dallas’s ritzy neighborhoods, Highland Park Hillside Park. Since I haven’t seen the television show yet, I don’t know how the show will play this change in characterization, but it’s sure to be delightfully naughty.

In the book, the heroine of the piece, Amanda Vaughn, returns to the familiarity and safety of her hometown neighborhood after a nasty separation and impending divorce from her philandering husband. Her two children, not really understanding their mother’s plight, are none too thrilled to be plucked out of their ocean-side home in Newport Beach, California. She is asked to chair the Cattle Baron’s Longhorn Ball after its fundraising efforts for pediatric care have been discredited by the previous chair. Her “good friends” from high school propose this obvious fiasco as a way to drown her failed-marriage sorrows in good works, but their motives are less than charitable — and from thence comes the title. And then there’s the mysterious rich guy…

Apparently the book is a thinly disguised accounting of author Kim Gatlin’s own experience. Only the names have been changed. You should really click into this link and see the discussion, including replies from Kim AND her mother about the book! It’s hysterical.

Although it has garnered lots of controversial press in the Bible Belt, which resulted in a change in the name of the television show from Good Christian Bitches to Good Christian Belles and finally to the sanitized GCB, I’m looking forward to watching the premiere. The book was funny and well-written and in any other socio-political climate would be called the ultimate beach read.

In the comedic hands of Kristin Chenoweth and Annie Potts, who plays Amanda’s mother Gigi, the show has a good chance of being successful. I suggest that you read its inspiration and play the Book 2 Movie game along with me.

I leave you with the best quote I’ve heard this week which my sources tell me comes from Carlene: “Cleavage makes your cross hang straight.”

I hope that¬†Jenners at Life With Books will forgive me for copying her format. It’s so absolutely fabulous that I knew I needed to change my concept — and they say imitation is the highest form of flattery. She reads much more important books than I do, so go over there and check her out.

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