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Formats
Ebook Details
  • 07/2022
  • 979-8-9865206-1-2 B0B6YXGZT4
  • 239 pages
  • $5.99
Paperback Details
  • 07/2022
  • 979-8-9865206-1-2
  • 239 pages
  • $14.99
Paperback Details
  • 07/2022
  • 979-8-9865206-0-5
  • 239 pages
  • $14.99
Joint Venture
Carol Rhees, author

Adult; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Market)

Helen has worked hard for her success only to find herself back in her small New England home town after her husband ditches her for a younger model. A messy night out only brings further humiliation to the prim-and-proper real estate agent when she face-plants on the sidewalk… just to be rescued by her old nemesis, Alice. Alice, a recent widow, has always considered Helen to be her complete opposite. Yet much to her surprise, as the township divides bitterly over whether to allow the sale of recreational marijuana within its borders, she and Helen find themselves drawn into an unlikely partnership. A charming examination of the human capacity for growth, Alice and Helen’s Joint Venture shines a light on family and friendship while delivering plenty of laughs along the way.

Semi Finalist

Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
Originality: 10 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 9.75 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot: Joint Venture tells the fun and heart-filled tale of a rag-tag group of people who try to open a marijuana dispensary in their small town.  The story is wonderfully plotted and flawlessly balances the subplots with the main themes.

Prose: Rhees's writing style is accessible, energetic, and humorous, seamlessly employing the third-person perspective to switch between points of view.

Originality: Rhees has crafted an original, memorable story in Joint Venture—a novel that cleverly uses diverse elements to bring the characters and setting to life.

Character Development/Execution: All of Rhees's characters are well drawn and lively, and even the minor characters prove engaging. The relationship between Alice and Helen is at the core of the novel, and their dynamic is believable, entertaining, and moving.

Blurb: This story of a rag-tag group of people trying to open a marijuana dispensary in their small town is full of fun, heart, and grace. 

Date Submitted: August 27, 2022

Reviews
Rhees’s debut pits the fraught debates of dispensing legalized marijuana against the backdrop of small-town dynamics. Alice and Helen, both raised in Poplar Point, have led two very different lives: Alice, every bit a freethinker, stayed in town, content to live a quiet, provincial life, while the more popular and worldly Helen moved away, until a cheating spouse and her adult daughter, Kim, bring her back to town. When Alice’s son, Bear, wants to open a marijuana dispensary in his father’s old store, Helen quickly seizes on the idea as a way to be financially successful without her husband.

Despite the premise and punning title, Joint Venture shouldn’t be classified as a work only of interest to readers fascinated by debates over legalization, as the end result is a comic but emotionally complex story with well-developed characters readers will enjoy laughing with and rooting for. The relationship between Alice and Helen, acrimonious to begin with, is immediately tested when they form an uneasy truce to start a business together. Both bring valuable insight to the project, but their plans also whip the small community of Poplar Point into a frenzy. Many people stand to benefit from the store, but the local Reverend Larson rallies supporters of his own to squash the initiative. Despite these roadblocks, the two forge ahead—until an unknown danger knocks on the door, putting their lives—and those of their loved ones—at risk.

Rhees chooses a timely and unconventional focus, but the evolving relationship between Alice and Helen proves to be the true heart of the story. The exploration of how two very different women work to find a common ground is an important one, and Rhees shows how close and contentious small town communities can be—both fighting against each other and rallying around beloved members in need.

Takeaway: Opening a small-town marijuana shop brings longtime enemies together while driving the community apart.

Great for fans of: T.C. Boyle’s Budding Prospects: A Pastoral , Fiona Mozley’s Hot Stew.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A

Amazon

Joint Venture by Carol Rhees tells the story of two elderly ladies, Alice and Helen, who have both lost their husbands and are now at loose ends. Together with Alice’s son Bear and some other inhabitants of the small town where they live, they decide to set up a legal marijuana dispensary. But not everyone in the town agrees with their idea, and they have to fight against the odds to make their dream come true.

Will Alice, Helen, and their loved ones be able to set up the shop? And how will the two women, who are polar opposites, work together in harmony?

I’m so glad I picked up this book, which I couldn’t put down and read within two days. It’s well-written, engaging, and easy to read - in short, the perfect novel to take on vacation. I especially loved the vivid and lovable characters and the short chapters, which are written from different perspectives and give the reader an interesting insight into various characters’ lives.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone, both young and old, who loves a good story. It is especially suitable for fans of the Netflix show “Grace and Frankie”, which also focuses on the relationship of two elderly women.

Formats
Ebook Details
  • 07/2022
  • 979-8-9865206-1-2 B0B6YXGZT4
  • 239 pages
  • $5.99
Paperback Details
  • 07/2022
  • 979-8-9865206-1-2
  • 239 pages
  • $14.99
Paperback Details
  • 07/2022
  • 979-8-9865206-0-5
  • 239 pages
  • $14.99

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