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Inane, self-justifying sequel to Confessions of a Slacker Mom (2004).

Mead-Ferro, who lives with her two children and second husband in the suburbs of Salt Lake City, urges mothers and wives to transcend pettiness and artificiality—in ten essays that obsess over her dirty house, boob jobs and “prioritizing” her duties. These chatty pieces, sprinkled throughout with anecdotes, might be imaginatively witty, even original, if the author had any gift at all for stylish satire à la Erma Bombeck. Instead, Mead-Ferro is a writer of niceties, a startled throwback to the olden days before the 1970s who is still asking herself why she has to be called Mrs. Michael Ferro or why she has to be the one to RSVP to invitations and write the family Christmas cards. (Message to the author: You don’t.) On the other hand, hearkening back to her childhood on a farm in Wyoming, she remembers that her mother didn’t worry about a dirty floor or concocting gourmet dinners. In “Can We Talk Dirty?” the author makes the revolutionary decision to stop washing her hair every day because it’s healthier and saves time. Elsewhere she considers the convenience of separate beds for her and her husband. Is this 44-year-old turning into her mother? Well, Mom probably didn’t have plastic surgery that left her with “a pair of oranges in a pair of socks.” Nor would she be likely to admit, as Mead-Ferro does in “I Knew There Was Something I Forgot to Do Today!” that she visited a kinky-toys shop with her girlfriends. The author’s main problem is that she’s not nearly as provocative as she thinks she is. “Old Enough to Know Better” purports to explore women’s susceptibility to the images of perpetual youthful beauty bombarding them on TV and in print, but Mead-Ferro tells us a friend’s husband left her because “she let herself go,” without exploring the contradictory connotations of this expression.

Hackneyed prose, confused ideas.

Pub Date: April 30th, 2005
ISBN: 0-7382-1016-1
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Da Capo Lifelong
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2005