Two young women try to create the glamorous lives they’ve imagined for themselves while talking on Gchat from their desks at their less-than-ideal jobs.
Bev left her cool-sounding but dispiriting entry-level position at a Manhattan publishing house to follow her boyfriend to the Midwest. Bad move. Now she’s back in New York, single again, and temping. Amy was once famous for her work at a hot website—or maybe she was just notorious: “[N]ow that she was neither, it mattered less which one it had been.” She’s been working for three years at Yidster, “the third-most-popular online destination for cultural coverage with a modern Jewish angle,” but is basically just floating through life on a diet of clicks and tweets, hoping her boyfriend will move in with her so she’ll be able to keep paying the rent on her lovely brownstone apartment in Brooklyn. When Bev gets pregnant on a hilariously dreadful first date, the women are forced to confront their differing dreams and priorities. Plot takes a back seat to Gould’s razor-sharp humor and observations about life in New York among a class of young people who know more about how they’d like to live than how to pay for it. It’s also a delight to read a novel that places female friendship at its center; we watch Bev and Amy manage their fluctuating feelings of love, jealousy and sometimes disdain for each other. “It seems improbable that this hasn’t happened to us before,” Amy says when she learns that Bev is pregnant. “Us?” Bev replies. “Are you going to start saying ‘we’re pregnant’?...We’re not a couple, Amy.” They’re not, but they are, and Gould brilliantly charts their ups and downs.
Perfect summer reading for people who’d rather stay in the city than go to the beach.