Tasha is intelligent, sophisticated, and successful—just like her best pals Mel, Emma, and Andy, who meet for lunch once a week and chat incessantly. Alas, a dreary but inescapable truth has cast a pall over their sunny fantasies of lifelong love: Men Are Bastards. Especially the handsome ones. Oh, bloody hell—why are these four brave women such fools? Are all males of the species cruel and selfish? Yet handsome bastards remain must-have accessories. Television producer Tasha still pines for Simon, a fabulously witty editor who dumped her for a blond model. Therapist Mel—so good, so genuine—must cope with the antics of Daniel, a lecherous lawyer. Emma simply cannot get Richard, her significant other, to commit. And Andy, the youngest, happily flirts with all comers, sadly unaware that she too is doomed to suffer the pain of unrequited passion. Different kinds of pain are explored in exhausting detail: the Pain of Being Single, of a Meaningless Relationship, of Divorce, of Marriage. Perhaps, muses Tasha, it’s all the fault of her mother, who endured her handsome husband’s infidelities for too long. Her irritating shrink, Louise, concurs. Could it be that Tasha’s childhood plumpness was an effort to comfort herself with food? Louise is quick at making these connections and repeatedly pointing out the obvious. When not soaking dozens of Kleenexes in Louise’s office, Tasha goes out with Simon’s friend Adam, a kindly bear of a man who is unfortunately far too normal and unexciting. And so she finds herself inexorably drawn to a suave heartbreaker (see above: unresolved Oedipal issues), as if searching for more proof that men are indeed no good. The girlfriends weigh in with their opinions—so many insights! Pages of them! But Adam soldiers on, determined to demonstrate his fundamental decency—and surprising skill in bed. Happy ending.
Not previously published in the US, this is Green’s first outing, precursor to the much more entertaining Jemima J (2000) and Mr. Maybe (2001).