BOOK CLUB: What Would LaVonda Robinette Do?

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“What Would LaVonda Robinette Do?” by Kirsten Maron is a funny and incisive novel about a woman whose life is abruptly and involuntarily changing in multiple ways.

LaVonda is not having a good day. It’s her birthday, but instead of being spoiled and pampered, her husband leaves her. She has her first hot flash, and the new guy at work is astonishingly rude to her. Not to mention that her daughter is still involved with a most unsuitable man, and her sisters are too busy to celebrate with her until the weekend.

And then LaVonda kind of accidentally, well, okay, it was sorta on purpose, but she didn’t really mean to, commits her first murder. And with more hot flashes, unreasonable demands from her husband, and worry about her daughter and sisters, LaVonda begins to see how a few more murders could make the world so much better.

LaVonda is a surprisingly effective heroine. Frankly, in a lot of ways, she’s not very attractive. She’s a bit of a know it all, judgemental, self-righteous, and not very empathetic towards others. Yet you’ll find yourself on her side. Most will understand her worry about her daughter and siblings. Even if it’s a bit judgemental. Women of a certain age will most definitely sympathise with her menopausal challenges. Faced with the same provocations, many would at the very least fantasize about murder.

We’re in LaVonda’s head for most of the novel, and her self-absorption leaves limited room for understanding other people. Even so, they’re believable characters. Her sisters in particular stood out to me as credible characters with their own lives and problems. Her husband was a bit shadowy, but then again that might be why he left – LaVonda doesn’t “see” him.

The blurb on this novel led me to expect a novel that would fit into the crime genre, but that’s not how I’d classify this. It’s more of a contemporary novel with some criminal aspects. LaVonda is murderous, but somehow that doesn’t seem the most important part of the novel -or her character – when you’re reading. Readers expecting a more classic crime novel may be disappointed.

The writing is sharp and funny. This is a subtle, sarcastic kind of humour, rather than laugh out loud. I found it worked well with the murderous themes in the novel and really suited the characters and story. This is a novel that hits its mark.

I really enjoyed this. The action moves along at a good clip, powered by LaVonda’s unstable and changeable emotional states and somewhat erratic behaviour. It’s all quite credible, too. LaVonda might not be likeable, but she and her story are very engaging. The situations will generate a fair bit of sympathy from readers.

In short, this is a novel that I think a lot of people will enjoy, particularly women.

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading What Would LaVonda Robinette Do? by Kirsten Maron. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

ISBN: 978-1-922444-42-4 / Publisher: Shawling Publishing

10 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: What Would LaVonda Robinette Do?

  1. Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Kisten Maron for the opportunity to read ‘What Would Lavonda Robinette Do?’

    This is a totally engaging story! What Would Lavonda Robinette Do is one of those books that is unputdownable.

    Kirsten Maron has written a book thats going to grab you from page 1 – and you wont be able to put it down until you finish it! Lavonda is looking for a simple kind of life – with with some birthday celebrations thrown in, but things get out of hand in a murder kind of way.

    Lavonda’s life is pretty twisted and out there, but interestingly relatable. Who know that menopause and murder would be so engaging? The ending was perfect and didn’t disappoint me.

    Kirsten Maron is an amazing writer I am looking forward to what comes next!

  2. What would LaVonda Robinette do? by Kirsten Maron, and published by Shawline Publishing Group is a crazy, soap-opera style book that discusses both menopause and murder in a humorous but quite relatable way!

    This is a well written and steadily paced book that keeps you chuckling despite the often quite serious family drama! And poor LaVonda certainly has a fair share of drama in her life!! Not only is she suffering the excruciating hot flushes of menopause, but her husband of 25 years leaves her for a younger woman, on her birthday, and on top of that an annoying new colleague is making her work life hell! It’s no wonder LaVonda is having murderous thoughts!!

    A light, easy to read and relatable tale that hooks you in with its colourful and quirky portrait of the dramas of family life.

  3. What would LaVonda Robinette Do? by Kirsten Maron was a very different book to I would normally read. It was good to try a different style and I must say well worth the read.

    La Vonda is going through a very uncertain period in her life suffering excruciating hot flushes from menopause, her husband of 25 years leaving her for a younger woman, and a new colleague at her work making life difficult as well. With all these changes in her life LaVonda starts having murderous thoughts.

    I would never have thought that the dreaded menopause and murder would work so well together in a books story line. With a complete twist that you need to read the book to the end to uncover. A twist that I was not expecting at all!

  4. What a quirky name and title for a book! This was a funny, light and engaging read which kept me entertained for the entire book. I really enjoyed reading this story about LaVonda who has enough things thrown at her in a short space of time to make her want to kill some people. The descriptions of menopause and being made to feel invisible and worthless are spot on. LaVonda doesn’t let herself be the victim and takes a stand many times for herself and I found it quite inspiring in places. The relationship between LaVonda and her sisters is hilarious, blunt, fiery and relatable. There were a few little surprises and twists throughout the book and a big one at the end I didn’t see coming. Overall, a great read which will make readers smile and have a chuckle.

  5. ‘What Would LaVonda Robinette Do?’ was a terrific read! I thoroughly enjoyed LaVonda and all the characters and found them fun and believable. Her sisters were hilarious, and I loved that they would turn to each other at times of need plus that wine/champagne helped solve all problems as well (well of course it does teehee!). So many characters jumped out at me from the horrid two-faced Royce who made her work life hell, to the annoyingly gossipy work colleague Sylvia to even her nosy neighbour Doreen. They were all just so relatable! They were described so well; you instantly knew why they were so irritating and/or awful. Going through menopause and being told her she was being left for another woman by her husband on her birthday all adds to the emotional strain at this difficult stage in her life. Her mother passes, she gets passed up for a promotion and her husband wants her house plus so much more happens it’s no wonder LaVonda feels driven to murder! I loved the story being written from LaVonda’s (often judgey) point of view that was incredibly humorous and the twist at the end was fantastic. Such a terrific way for the book to finish that I didn’t see coming.
    I absolutely loved it from start to finish and I can’t wait to see what else Kirsten Maron comes out with.
    Thank you to Beauty & Lace and the Shawline Publishing Group for allowing me the immense pleasure in reading this book. I also really appreciated the way it arrived wrapped beautifully, a lovely and thoughtful touch.

    1. Apologies for the extra but would also like send a shout out to The Independent Bookstore whom I’m assuming my book was actually sent from and who sent my book in such wonderful wrapping. Thank you!!

  6. What a funny Iight hearted book. So well written and easy to read! The characters were well conveyed to the reader aswell.
    Cannot recommend this book enough. Thanks beauty and lace!

  7. ‘What would LaVonda Robinette do?’ This was such a delight to read. Very light and so quirky, I giggled on every turn of the page. I found it very relatable and really took a liking to LaVonda. Her character is going through so many things, it actually sounded like my life hahaha. LaVonda is a strong character that is sensitive but bossy and has a heart. The story comes with a great twist at the end which is a little mind blowing and a little sad. I would highly recommend this book to anyone and because it was so hard to put down, you will finish quite quickly. Go LaVonda!!

  8. Who would have thought that menopause and murder would combine to make a great storyline!
    Lavonda has a lot to contend with at the moment, her husband has left her and she is being bullied at work. On top of all that she is stricken with hot flushes that descend without warning. It’s little wonder Lavonda’s thoughts start to turn to murder.
    Many of the book’s themes will resonate with middle-aged women; hot flushes, mood swings, forgetfulness, paranoia and murderous thoughts.
    What Would LaVonda Robinette Do is an engaging and witty read filled with fierce and fabulous females, a storyline that will have you laughing out loud and a twist that I didn’t see coming.

  9. It took me a while with life going on to be able to truly sit down and enjoy this book, but when I finally got the chance, I was so glad I did! This was a great read and I was hooked very early on! It was well written, humourous, easy to read and fairly well relatable (except to the murder part hahaha)
    Thank you for letting me read!

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