Further Tales of the City – Armistead Maupin

The Tales of the City series makes for perfect summer reading, and my copy of the third installment got a lot of sun this year!

Further Tales takes us back to beloved 28 Barbary Lane and its inhabitants. Some time has passed since More Tales of the City, and there have been changes. The characters are moving on in their lives or careers. Most notably, Mary Ann, now a local shopping channel celebrity, is on a mission to become an investigative reporter. Loveable Michael is once again on the lookout for love and Brian is no longer flitting from girl to girl, but has ideas of settling down.

Of course, Barbary Lane would not be complete without the wonderful Mrs Madrigal who is ever the guardian angel looking out for her ‘children’. She has some brilliant scenes in this book, I only wish she could have featured a bit more!

After a huge breakthrough in Mona’s storyline in the previous book, I was disappointed to find that she was no longer living at Barbary Lane or even in San Francisco. I missed Mona’s snappy dialogue and look forward to having her back in the future.

Further Tales is all about the characters; their dramas, their love lives and their friendships. However it’s hard to root for all of them and I have mixed feelings about Prue Giroux, a horrendous gossip columnist who hosted a ‘rap about rape’ lunch in the first book. She returns with an over-the-top and farcical storyline involving survivors of the Jonestone Massacre, a kidnapping on a cruise ship and a shady character living in the woods. Yes – totally ridiculous, but lots of fun if you can enter into the spirit! Poor Prue doesn’t come across well, but it was certainly amusing having her along for the ride in this installment.

To really get into the series, it’s important to not take it too seriously. It’s a real romp of a story and I look forward to catching up with the goings on at Barbary Lane in the next book!

If you would like to buy a copy of Further Tales of the City, click on the picture below!

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