From Karasyov (Wolves in Chic Clothing, with Jill Kargman, 2005, etc.), a chatty novel about women who cheat.
As the sun rises over Pacific Palisades, a certain sameness pervades over the privileged residents—oh, the bore of school runs and salon days, the difficulty of squeezing in Pilates with the obligatory L.A. cocktail party. Four friends in their mid-30s are in a rut and agree to Victoria’s grand scheme for improving their lives: Each is giving herself a year to have an extramarital affair. Ironically, only Victoria’s husband is jerk enough to deserve the title of cuckold—all the others are nice enough guys. New-Agey Helen is married to Wesley, a mild-mannered British director who is too restrained for her. Preppy Bostonian Leelee is married to Brad, whose grave sin was to have lost his fortune in the dot.com bust, forcing Leelee to live an upper-middle-class life in a Palisades cottage while her friends inhabit mansions. Eliza loves Declan, but feels somehow underappreciated, and anyway, she’s always had a crush on movie star Tyler Trask (she’s a celebrity reporter with potential access to the heartthrob). It takes just a short conversation for Victoria to convince her friends to cheat (though why they all have to do it together is a bit unclear) and soon each lady is engaged in some extracurricular fun, husband and kids be damned. Bitchy Victoria is quickly in over her head—she’s chosen her husband’s business rival, a sadist threatening exposure if she tries to break it off. Eliza, meanwhile, is conflicted, not wanting to jeopardize her marriage, and spacey Helen wonders why she’s unfulfilled by her afternoon trysts. Only Leelee seems genuinely happy now that she’s hooked up with Jack, the man she’s been in love with since she was a teen. The affairs risk exposure at the hands of Anson Larrabee, local gossip columnist and blackmailer, ready to betray the women if he doesn’t get what he wants. But then he turns up dead.
Karasyov’s quartet of bratty heroines sorely lack likeability.