Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Smart One

The Smart One by Ellen Meister
Title: The Smart One
Author: Ellen Meister
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 978-0-06-112962-9
Genre: Women's Fiction, Family Relationships, Humor
Reviewed by: Sandie Kirkland

Bev Bloomrosen is having a midlife crisis. She's 35, and hoping to change careers and start teaching art, hopefully moving from New York to Las Vegas. She's divorced, unattached and still embroiled in sibling rivalries with her two sisters. Clare, the oldest, is known as "the pretty one" and is married with two children, perfectly happy as far as Bev knows. Joey, her younger sister and "the talented one", is a former rock star and drug addict. That leaves Clare in the middle, known as "the smart one" but wondering what to do with her life.

While she waits to hear about the Las Vegas job, her summer gets complicated. First of all, there's the issue of Kenny Waxman, the boy next door who broke her heart in high school. Kenny is living in his parents' house while they try to sell it and also at loose ends waiting to hear about a job. Bev finds him just as appealing now as she did twenty years ago, but should she take the plunge and get involved again with him? Then there is Clare, whose marriage is not as happy as it seemed and who is contemplating an affair. Bev feels she needs to stop this and gets involved with the man she suspects is the one Clare is attracted to, her contractor, Leo. Joey is mysterious, disappearing for days then back involved in family matters. To top things off, the sisters make a grusome discovery, an industrial drum stored under the Waxman's house which contains a pregnant woman's body. Who is responsible for her pregnancy and death?

While this all sounds grim, Ellen Meister writes about these situations in a lighthearted manner, making them seem like normal family issues and bringing them to a successful resolution. The characters are well-defined and believable, and the reader soon begins to cheer them on as they encounter difficulties. The writing is light and breezy, and draws the reader along to the end. Readers who want a light read with lots of romantic action and resolution of family difficulties will find this book very enjoyable.


Kris said...

Welcome to the world of blogging! I've add you to my google reader list so I can stay up-to-date. Have fun with it!

Sandie said...

Thanks, Kris. This could be addictive!