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by Jennifer Close

Pub Date: Aug. 16th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-307-59685-7
Publisher: Knopf

Three young women and their friends navigate the tricky world of big-city adulthood after graduation.

 Mary, Isabella and Lauren—the trio at the heart of this low-key coming-of-age—might not want to change the world, but they do hunger for lives more interesting than the marriage-and-babies routine that seems to have captured all their former schoolmates. Their story is told in a series of loosely connected chapters. The girls move to New York, fall for unworthy boys, find (and lose) jobs, all while attending an awful lot of weddings and bridal showers. Insecure wit Isabella comes from a big family and takes a dead-end position at a mailing-list company where she can go to work hungover, while Mary focuses on getting a law degree. Isabella and Mary share a tiny Manhattan apartment, prompting Isabella’s little suburban niece to wonder aloud if Auntie Iz is poor. Party-girl Lauren works as a waitress and begins sleeping with a “dirty sexy” bartender at her restaurant, before discovering a talent for selling real estate. Mary passes the bar and gets a job at a law firm where she has to work until 9 p.m. just to keep up. And after a string of disappointments, Isabella meets Harrison (not Harry), a catch so appealing she fully expects she will screw it up during an especially challenging ski vacation. There is more, naturally, for the girls as they try to figure out who they are and what they really want, and their friendship evolves accordingly. With a light touch and utterly believable characters, Close’s modestly appealing debut manages to capture the humor, heartache and cautious optimism of her protagonists.

Wryly funny sketches of life in one's 20s.