Jill A. Davis, Girls’ Poker Night

Posted April 4, 2011 by Kathy Davie in

Girls' Poker NightGirls’ Poker Night by Jill A. Davis
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Escaping an unwanted relationship in Boston, Ruby Capote takes a job as a columnist in New York where she restarts an old college tradition, her weekly poker night, with friends she’s had for ages. A lot of her columns are based on the stories told over the poker table.

While the majority of the book is Ruby’s whining about her various issues—her parents splitting up, her father dying, and her own sabotaging efforts with all aspects of relationships, Ruby does discuss her views on her friends as well.

The focus here is on the wanna-don’wanna relationship with her editor, Michael.

The Characters
Ruby deals with life by giving everyone else what she thinks they want to hear and running away if there is anything negative. Doug is the ex-boyfriend she pursued and left. The Poker Girls are Jenn who works for a domineering, tyrannical media jerk; Danielle is rich, recently divorced, and enjoys getting engaged; Skorka is a heavily-accented, foreign model more interested in screwing married men and raiding Ruby’s cupboards; Meg is [mostly] happily married to a great guy and they have kids; and, Lily is shy but finally comes out of the closet and surprises everyone.

At work, there’s the Cadaver, an extremely thin woman with whom no one socializes and in charge of the morgue; Larry is the city hall reporter with the missing coffee cup who sits across from Ruby in the newsroom; Wags is the reporter-at-large; Smelly Fred, is the city editor with a talent for cutting out the deadwood; and, Michael Hobbs, the news editor, is a man who might possibly have too many flaws for Ruby.

My Take
I almost stopped reading so many times in this book but, because I’m obsessive, I kept going hoping for something redeeming about it. I was right…thank god! About the last few chapters…well, not really chapters per se, more like entries in a journal…Ruby finally, for some reason, gets her act together and writes a very illuminating column. It is good. It made me wish that Davis had produced other columns.

I did enjoy the alternative betting the girls indulged in; it was much more of a challenge to cough it up when your thoughts and feelings are on the line.

If you like the Letterman show, you will probably like Davis’ Girls’ Poker Night. She’s a former writer for the show and the feel of the book is very like his show.

The Cover
The cover certainly suits the story: airy with spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs floating around a geometrically dressed young-thing-about-town lying down with a handful of cards.

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