Mrs. Maxine Hortence Simmons is quite possibly one of the most entertaining characters I have had the pleasure to meet over my many years of reading. We first meet Maxine living her “perfect life” in Palm Springs in 1969 with her newly renovated dining room and her catty friends. We also get an intimate view into her life imploding on Thanksgiving and her subsequent ‘banishment’ to Scottsdale, Arizona. Once there, she meets Charles “Chuck” Bronski, Robert Hogarth, Dawn Bronski and her new mission- winning Mr. and Mrs American Pie.
One of my favorite parts of reading books is getting to meet new characters that instantly feel like real people. In Mr. and Mrs. American Pie, each of the characters were so entertaining but also so complex and it was the bringing together of all their individual personalities that really made this book what it is and made me so attached to these characters; especially the larger than life Maxine. However, while filled with humor, this novel also discussed more serious topics of the late 60’s/early 70’s such as prejudices on race and sexual orientation as well as gender stereotypes of the “perfect housewife and mother”.
Reading this book I couldn’t help but relate this to a combination of the Real Housewives Franchise and the novel “Where’d you Go Bernadette?” With its over the top humor, its pageantry, and its amazing characters-this is a must read for a genuinely fun reading experience. I wish I could list all the reasons why I laughed hysterically while reading this book, but for the sake of time and to avoid spoilers I will just say read this book!