“Camptown Ladies” by Mari SanGiovanni

“Attention Happy Campers! Good morning to all! Since the Camp is under new ownership, allow me to introduce myself: I’m Lisa Santora, your lord and master of all things Camptown Ladies. You may call me Camptown Conquistador, or Lisa, whichever you prefer. Joining me is my brother, Vince Santora, otherwise known as Candy Ass, or the little ones can call him Candy Butt. Please see him for any and all complaints about the bathrooms; this is his specialty. My Mom, Mrs. Santora, will be running the store, and my Dad, Sal Santora, will be in charge of selling wood. Hurry though: On a chilly morning Mom says his morning wood will go very quickly, if there is any at all.”

That’s definitely one of my favourite moments from this book. It’s actually a much longer speech, but you’ll have to pick the book up to read the rest.

Camptown Ladies this is the sequel to Greetings From Jamaica, Wish You Were Queer …, also by SanGiovanni. It picks up just months after the previous book ends … Marie and Lorn Elaine have ended it … again (surprised, anyone? … I know I wasn’t), Vince and Erica have also broken up, and Lisa used her riches to buy a camp site. Because you know, what else would you do if you had millions, other than buy a campsite? I know I would!

Anywhos, the whole family is together again, except this time they’re building a campsite. And I should mention, it’s not just a regular campsite, but one targeted toward the LGBT community. Of course this fact is kept hidden from the family until the campers actually arrive, which makes it all the more funny.

SanGiovanni has a great sense of humour when it comes to the Santora family and it came across in Camptown Ladies. Though I think her prequel was much much funnier. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed this book too, but there was just something missing. Maybe a little bit of that extra funny spark. Also, the grammar. I understand a grammatical mistake or two within a book, but I caught at least 20, if not more. And coming from the perspective of a writer and editor, it did not float my boat. I think the grammar along with a lack of Greetings From Jamaica humour made this a very long read for me.

There were of course some hilarious parts, but overall I thought some of the things that went on in the book were very out of the blue and completely unexpected. That’s usually a good thing, but the things that happened in this book were unexpected in a “wtf just happened and why?!” kind of way.

I think it’s worth a read if you enjoyed Greetings From Jamaica and are itching to know what happens with the characters a few months down the road. So give it a try and head over to Camptown Ladies where the wood goes quickly in the mornings 😉



2 thoughts on ““Camptown Ladies” by Mari SanGiovanni

  1. Thanks for your very honest review of SanGiovanni’s book. I agree that it’s an enjoyable read but not on par with her debut novel, I, too,found the basic lack of editing inexcusable. My personal favorite gaffaw — “shabby sheik” instead of “shabby chic.” Elipses in lieu of M dashes. Frustrating and distracting errors litter the novel. Perhaps a reflection of the poor state of publishing, this book escaped an editor’s eye, and the end result reflects it. Shame on Bywater Books! SanGiovanni’s readers deserve better.

    • Thanks for agreeing with me. You’re completely right, SanGiovanni’s readers do deserve better, especially considering how great her prequel was. I was especially frustrated with the simplest errors like “to” instead of “too.” Things like that definitely should have been caught!

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