New York Times best-seller Peterson (The Manny, 2007) presents the tale of a PR executive who experiences a wake-up call when a mysterious woman challenges her to face reality and rearrange her priorities.
At 34, New York City resident Allie Crawford strives to balance a career and family, but lately, she’s been doing the lion’s share of the work. Husband Wade, an ambitious magazine editor, is constantly busy. Allie’s disturbed by his behavior but says little: She’s always validated her self-worth through the eyes of others, particularly the men in her life. Allie’s dad, once her rock, died years ago in a tragic accident, and the circumstances still haunt her. She pushed away best friend and would-be lover James, but she still has unresolved feelings for him. Murray, Allie’s boss, expects her to be available 24/7, and Allie usually accommodates his demands. And Allie’s sick to death of Wade’s endless parties for clientele, but she continues to play the obliging hostess. Wade and Allie have survived rough patches in their marriage up until now, but when a poker chip tumbles out of his pocket and beautiful blonde Jackie shows up and disappears in their lives with genielike dexterity, Allie suspects there’s hanky-panky afoot. But Jackie’s not what Allie expects. Although she dresses to the nines in last year’s runway fashions, she has a head for business and warns Allie that her family’s financial future is in jeopardy. Throwing logic and any semblance of good dialogue and well-defined plot to the wayside, Peterson’s female protagonists embark on a vague cloak-and-dagger investigation encompassing an ex-con parking-lot mogul, a computer networking company, a film festival and some ominous looking SUVs. And, of course, there are other problems: Allie’s having trouble developing a scene for her screenwriting class until Tommy, a fellow student, takes control and encourages Allie to spill her guts about her past, especially all the explicit sexual details, and make out with him. After several more revelations—about Tommy and everyone from Murray’s gardener to the guys in the SUVs—Allie experiences an epiphany: A strong woman doesn’t need a man’s approval to move forward! Readers who make it to the end of this book might experience an epiphany of their own: To engage the reader, stronger writing and a certain degree of credibility are necessary.
Not every idea’s a good one.