The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs

The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs Book Cover The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs
Matthew Dicks
St. Martin's Press
September 8, 2015

Caroline Jacobs has lost herself. She's a wife, mother (to a tattooed teenage daughter she avoids), Sears Portrait Studio photographer, and wimp. Asserting herself, taking the reins, or facing life head-on are not in her repertoire. So when Caroline suddenly cracks and screams "Fuck you!" at the PTA president, she is shocked. So is her husband. So is the PTA president. So is everyone. But Caroline soon realizes the true cause of her outburst can be traced back to something that happened to her as a teenager, a scarring betrayal by her best friend Emily. This act changed Caroline's life forever. So, with a little bit of bravery flowing through her veins, Caroline decides to go back to her home town and confront Emily. She busts her daughter Polly out of school, and the two set off to deliver the perfect comeback, which is twenty-five years in the making. But nothing goes as planned. Long buried secrets begin to rise to the surface, and Caroline will have to face much more than one old, bad best friend. A heartwarming story told with Matthew Dicks' signature wit, The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs is a deceptively simple novel about the ways in which our childhood experiences reverberate through our lives, and the bravery of one woman trying to change her life and finds true understanding of her daughter, and herself, along the way.



“The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs” is story about a rather shy and reserved woman who unexpectedly breaks out of her shell at a PTA meeting.  This triggers a set of events that lead her back to her hometown to face her past.

The beginning of the book was pure gold, and I’m fairly certain anyone who has ever dealt with the leaders of various youth and charity organizations has at one point wanted to tell them what Caroline did.  Her search to change the way she handled things in the past is also very relatable.  Who hasn’t wanted to confront a former bully as an adult?  I absolutely loved that part as well as all of the main characters.  We’ve all either been one of them or know them.

Unfortunately, I found that it seemed the novel would have been better suited as a novella or a short story.  Many of the characters and details seemed like filler and were not well-developed.  It dragged down the flow of what would otherwise have been a very well-written work.

Overall, “The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs” is a book that I can neither recommend nor not recommend.  If it sounds like you may enjoy it, by all means give it a try.

This review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.



Content Warning:

As this is an adult book, there are no trigger warnings.


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