Author, screenwriter, and producer Ephron follows her first novel (Hanging Up, 1995, inspiration for the current film starring Diane Keaton) with another frothy family romp, this about a single-mom journalist who moves to a bucolic Long Island shore town to save her incommunicado 15-year-old from the perils of a Manhattan adolescence.
Lily Davis knows her son, Sam, is sneaking out to clubs at night, but when she discovers a steak knife in his bureau, she decides it’s time to get out of Dodge. Settling in Sakonnet Bay, she lands a job on the local paper. Covering a story in which the baby with its head stuck in a pitcher at Claire’s Collectibles turns out to be a vicious dachshund, she’s attracted to the cop who comes to her rescue. When she and Sgt. Tom McKee find themselves in a mansion with a naked woman sprawled across a bed, Lily gets her first clue that Brigadoon has as many issues as she does, and the plot turns into a typical small-town crime story where everyone is suspect. Add to the mix her son’s new haircut (shaved except for a tail spouting from the center of his head); his girlfriend, who speaks in the Star Trek language Klingon; and a town divided over the fate of the deer population (hunters are lined up against the Friends of Bambi), and you have the premise for a hilarious if stock fish-out-of-water tale. Can Lily give up “a city that can do more for you than a husband or a lover” for a place where everyone knows your whereabouts by the dents in your car? The answer lies in her column, “Big City Eyes,” in which she lampoons the locals, sends cryptic messages about her personal life, and dispels rumors that Sam is a member of the Aryan nation.
Good, clean, lighthearted fun with a moral ending.