I think The Last Best Place is my attempt to stand feminism on its head and see what happens. I am all for feminism as regards women having the vote and being considered equal to men. But I wanted to have some fun with the twists and turns of feminism and femininity. There are four major female characters in the book, and I love them all. And they are all based on real women, pieces put together in different ways of women I have known.
Lynda, the heroine, is a bit of the Diana the huntress type, out there taking on all comers, including men and beating the pants off them. But there are other ways to have fun with men.
Shawnee is Venus, every bit as tricky and sly as the Goddess herself. And since this isn’t ancient Greece, we can say that old Venus was a tad on the self absorbed side and given to delusions of grandeur, just like Shawnee.
Rhonda is Terpsichore Goddess of Music and Dance, a muse to all the men in her life, and a romantic diva who wants it all: Love that knocks you off your feet, the huge diamond, swooning, and stylish New York wedding to die for, a classy wedding for a forty year old first time bride.
Dottie is the Earth Mother who’s actually never been a mother, but she’s one of those sensible, loving women who mothers everyone, subtly and with great love and understanding.
Of course a novel that is going to stand feminism on its head HAS to take place in Montana, the last bastion of manly men. And all the women try their luck at conquering the ultimate woman, Mother Nature.
All the women are affected by their encounters with each other and with Montana. I guess we’re all our truest selves when the chips are down and civilization is out of reach leaving us at the mercy of NATURE! Whoa, watch out. But that’s the fun of the book, I think. Each character’s adventures pummel them until they wake up and smell the coffee and the bacon on the campfire. Life is good in Montana. There are four weddings and blizzard.
And there are also four masculine characters, who I also love. I will tell you about them in my next post.