The late Goldsmith (The First Wives Club, 1992, etc.) sticks to the bestselling formula of women looking for love in her final book: sadly, a predictable, clichéd, and caricature-ridden portrait of a Manhattan career woman entangled by the outer-borough roots she tries desperately to leave behind.
Kate Jameson is nothing if not a snob. Raised in Brooklyn by a distant, alcoholic father, she’s moved beyond her childhood buddies Bina, Bev, Barbie, and Bunny—known collectively as “The Bitches of Bushwick”—and their single-minded desire for husband, children, and a blue velvet tufted couch. An Ivy League–educated therapist in a tony New York City school, our heroine lives in hip Chelsea, shops in chic Soho, and has the requisite gay man as her best friend and confidant. “It was true she described every tremor to Elliot and like a geophysicist, he had predicted when the earthquakes were coming to rock her world.” Kate manages to keep her old neighborhood girlfriends far away from her de rigueur Manhattan existence, until Bina Horowitz, who works in her podiatrist father’s office, turns up broken-hearted and hysterical when Jack, her fiancé of six years, decides despite the engagement ring bulging in his shirt pocket that he wants to “explore his singleness.” The plot twists and turns with the scheme to get Jack back. The plan? Brice, Elliot’s fashion-savvy partner, will gussy up Bina, who will then ensnare the eponymous and infamous Billy Nolan, owner of the Barber Bar in Brooklyn and “a living embodiment of male beauty.” Elliot, brilliant mathematician that he is, has uncovered statistics proving that every woman who dates Billy Nolan inevitably gets dumped and goes on to marry her soulmate. As Elliot and Brice invade the world Kate worked so hard to hide, she’s forced to reassess her personal relationships and uptight attitudes. All this leads, of course, to true love and happiness.
Pleasant enough, but strictly for fans.