After reading all 4 books of the Hobbs series by Elena Graf, I feel like I wish our community could be like the one described in the Hobbs series. Because, the reality of the pandemic described starting with book #3 – „Love In Time Of Corona” continues in book #4 – „Thirsty Thursdays”. The author is not afraid to describe difficult situations and setting the characters through hard times. This is how they evolve and their friendship gets even better, because during hard times, the Hobbs women and their friends unite to keep each other safe through love, friendship and kindness with a little twist.
„Thirsty Thursdays” by Elena Graf is book #4 in the Hobbs series.
#1 – „High October” featuring the amazing doctor Liz Stolz and the beautiful actress Maggie Fitzgerald.
#2 – „This Is My Body” featuring the wonderful and always smiling reverend Lucille Bartlett and the smart philosophy professor Erika Bultmann
#3 – „Love In Time Of Corona” featuring Police Chief Brenda Harrison and medical assistant Cherie Bois and, and, of course, all the remarkable characters from the previous books: Dr. Liz Stolz and her wife, Maggie, Mother Lucy and her wife Erika.
The Hobbs series describes the life of a community of lesbian women in their fifties or sixties living at their best in the town of Hobbs, Maine.
In #1 – „High October” we are witnesses of the romantic love between Liz and Maggie, who have loved each other since college, but got separated by Maggie’s parents, she married a man and she meets Liz by accident again after forty years in Hobbs Maine and they fall in love again.
In #2 – „This Is My Body” we are introduced to the most original character of them all, Mother Lucy, a former opera star at the Met Opera in New York, who has become an Episcopalian reverend and moved to Hobbs Maine, and met and fall in love with Erika, a philosophy professor and Liz’s best friend.
In #3 – „Love In Time Of Corona” we couldn’t wait to see Police Chief Brenda Harrison happy in love. She falls for Cherie Bois, Liz’s new medical assistant, who seems to hate Brenda and she doesn’t know why and how to make Cherie know her, the woman behind the uniform.
In book #4 – „Thirsty Thursdays”, I couldn’t wait to see the new additions. And Elena Graf did a wonderful job by creating the most controversial character of them all: Olivia Enright, who has become one of my favorite characters in the series.
What I like about the Hobbs Series is the fact that there is no perfect character, they are all flawed and they struggle to keep their loves and friendships alive during the pandemic. Every character falls or has fallen at one point. That is why they are not boring and we can’t get enough of them.
Imagine just sweet and perfect characters, you can have a believable series with those typos of characters.
I, also, like the fact that religion plays an important part in the series. The characters are complex and deep, because they have had experiences that I have never read about in other books in lesbian fiction, mostly because characters over fifty are rare. Some of the characters could overcome difficulties in their pasts through religion, and being over fifty, religion plays an important role in some of their lives, felling the need to be closer to God. Then, in reality, through religion many of us were able to overcome the desperate situations created by the Covid-19 pandemic, like seeing people around us dying of Covid-19, being isolated from the families, having a depression or losing their jobs or having money issues. This is the case in Hobbs, too.
Another impact of religion which I found very interesing in the Hobbs series is Mother Lucy, what she represents, and how could an agnostic like Erika fall for the religious Mother Lucy? – this is a very original love story and keeps the reader overthinking how to explain it.
Coming back to Thirsty Thursdays, the element of suprise in it, in my opinion, is the almost ice queen, Olivia Enright.
Leave it to Mother Lucy to make a new convert out of her, which is rather unexpected (here is where religion plays a surprising part, too).
There couldn’t be a more flawed character than Olivia.
Olivia Enright is a rich retired hedge fund manager and currently the most unpopular person in town because of her right wing conviction as a member of the Hobbs Rebublican Commitee. Olivia is blunt and doesn’t listen to anyone in town, she still believes that what has worked on Wall-Street could work in a small town like Hobbs, too, throwing her wealth in the face of the inhabitants. That is the first controversy, her character.
The second controversy is why has Olivia left Wall-Street. Not many people know it and they don’t know either that this is her personal tragedy. When it is revealed, the ice queen starts to melt.
Olivia doesn’t keep in touch with her granddaughters. And that leads her straight to Mother Lucy at Liz’s recommendation after she has asked for sleeping pills. Layer by layer we discover who Olivia really is, how lonely it has been even for her during the lockdown.
Surprisingly, Olivia likes Sam, who is so different, she is her opposite really.
Architect Samantha McKinnon just moved to Hobbs and wants to have a restoration business and do what she loves, smaller projects not bigger ones, as she used to do as a famous architect. She bought a house on the pond in Hobbs and she rebuilt a part of it and she also has a wonderful garden and beautiful flowers. She created her perfect home, now when she was about to be sixty years old.
The Hobbs community has faced the pandemic and the lockdown in it’s own way. Liz has financial issues at her medical practice and of course, Mother Lucy, too, at her church as everything got closed and people stopped coming because many of them have, also, lost their jobs. In this context, Olivia’s money help Hobbs in various ways. And Liz wants to help Olivia, too. She recommends architect Samantha McKinnon to help Olivia have her dream bathroom. Also, Liz starts a new tradition by creating a dining and drinking night called thirsty thursdays at her home on her big porch where all her friends could gather, socialize and have a great time. Liz, Brenda and Sam have their own gathering by going fishing on Liz’s boat and having their own „butch time”.
One day Liz invites Olivia and all her lovely friends are appaled by Olivia’s lack of tact and her bluntness regarding the fact that money can buy anything and anyone.
Sam and Olivia are really attracted to each other, but Sam is nice and kind and doesn’t throw in everyone’s face that she was a famous architect once, while Olivia still has her Wall-Street no hostages attitude and applies it on the wrong people of Hobbs, especially on Brenda Harrison, the Police Chief of Hobbs.
Olivia and Sam start on the wrong footh, but step by step Olivia’s layers fall appart and the fact that she is a lesbian and obviously wants Sam, she struggles to do anything to have her way, including to be a part of the thirsty thursdays group and to become one of Liz’s friends.
And on top of all, Olivia Enright is an incredible beautiful woman, always having the perfect makeup and the perfect hairstyle. Not even Maggie could overpower her here.
With the help of Liz and Lucy, Olivia seems to be more approachable and starts to change to fit the close group of lesbian friends in Hobbs. I liked how Olivia has the courage to reveal her true self.
I enjoyed the dialogue, Olivia is incoriggible. I find this a great addition to the language of the book.
The turning point of the book is an impulsive kiss that changes the pace of the close group of lesbian friends in Hobbs. This was a huge surprise to me.
I expected Olivia Enright to do something incorrigible, but I was wrong.
The fallen angel no.1, the unexpected Hobbs hero, dr.Liz Stolz.
All this, leave the reader in awe, expecting the next book in the Hobbs series, to see what happens next.
Again, I recommend this book and more, I recommend this whole Hobbs series to everyone who wants to read something unique in lesbian fiction.
ExcerptsExcerpts from the book: