Frances is a divorced New Yorker looking for a new start. Without telling her ex-husband she takes a job in Orlando in the creative department of a fictitious theme park that rivals Walt Disney World.
I was happy to again find a story with character I could relate to. Frances is in her late thirties, childless, and divorced. And although I'm not under forty, not childless, and not divorced, I could still relate to her view of the world. Her cynical attitude made me laugh out loud, especially against the backdrop of the colorfully saturated tourist trap into which she's landed.
"I suppose on some level I knew that magicians marry, but I never expected to encounter the spouse of one."
The story was vivid from the beginning. Triggs' description of Planet Binger and its residents pulled me in immediately. The contrast of Frances to her surroundings was obvious but not forced.
I did, however, feel that the story slowed down in the middle. The romance between Frances and her coworker lacked tension and there seemed to be a few more characters than there needed to be. I lost track of a few.
But overall I felt that The Next Happiest Place on Earth was a good way to finish up my summer reading. It's a light and fun book which I recommend to anyone who's had to put on a brave face in a strange land.
Thanks again to Greg Triggs for the lovely paperback as well as the postcards (one for me, one for a friend).