From the acclaimed author of "Blessings, Black and Blue," and "One True Thing" comes a superb novel about two sisters, the true meaning of success, and the qualities in life that matter most.
"Muttering a string of bitter profanities sotto voce at the conclusion of a particularly contentious interview, Meghan Fitzmaurice, the queen of morning television, realizes too late that her microphone is still on. Her on-air gaffe instantly becomes delectable fodder for Manhattan's predatory cocktail-party circuit, which is where her idolatrous younger sister, Bridget, first learns of Meghan's meteoric fall from grace. Normally the epitome of cool aplomb, Meghan can trace her uncharacteristic outburst to her husband's almost simultaneous announcement that he's leaving her after 21 years of marriage. Sequestering herself on a remote island far from the professional deathwatch conducted by the media and paparazzi, Meghan trusts Bridget to pick up the pieces of her abandoned life, including providing emotional and familial stability for her college-age son, Leo. Although such life-altering events constitute the novel's moral touchstones, it is in the minutiae of Meghan's and Bridget's lives that Quindlen poignantly reveals the sisters' individual strengths and faults. Moving from the fetid tenements of the Bronx to the ethereal penthouses of Manhattan, Quindlen pens a lavishly perceptive homage to the city she loves, while her transcendentally agile and empathic observations of the human condition underlie the Fitzmaurice sisters' discovery of the transience of fame and the permanence of family. --Carol Haggas Copyright 2006 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"Bridget Fitzmaurice, the narrator of Quindlen's engrossing fifth novel, works for a women's shelter in the Bronx; her older sister, Meghan, cohost of the popular morning show Rise and Shine, is the most famous woman on television. Bridget acts as a second mother to the busy Meghan's college student son, Leo; Meghan barely tolerates Bridget's significant other, a gritty veteran police detective named Irving Lefkowitz. After 9/11 (which happens off-camera) and the subsequent walking out of Meghan's beleaguered husband, Evan, Meghan calls a major politician a "fucking asshole" before her microphone gets turned off for a commercial, and Megan and Bridget's lives change forever. As Bridget struggles to mend familial fences and deal with reconfigurations in their lives wrought by Meghan's single phrase, Quindlen has her lob plenty of pungent observations about both life in class-stratified New York City and about family dynamics. The situation is ripe with comic potential, which Bridget deadpans her way through, and Quindlen goes along with Bridget's cool reserve and judgmentalism. The plot is very imbalanced: a couple of events early, then virtually nothing until a series of major revelations in the last 50 or so pages. The prose is top-notch; readers may be more interested in Quindlen's insights than in the lives of her two main characters. (Aug. 28) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved