by Sarah Strohmeyer ‧ RELEASE DATE: July 2, 2009
Thanks to Strohmeyer’s penchant for humor, Kat’s adventures entertain despite the transparently contrived plot.
A spendthrift interior designer, fearing that her economist husband plans to divorce and impoverish her, joins a support group of eccentric skinflints, in the latest from Strohmeyer (Sweet Love, 2008, etc.).
Without regrets, Kat jilted fiancé Liam, now a billionaire big-pharma exec, for her soul mate, Griff, a charismatic economics professor at a small New Jersey college. Twenty years later, daughter Laura is finishing high school, and Griff and Kat, always strapped for cash, are worrying about how to put her through NYU. A long-term factotum for Chloe, a social-climbing designer, Kat yearns to go independent, if only her paycheck weren’t already dedicated to paying off her ever-ballooning credit-card debt. She rationalizes her mall habit, Lexus SUV and daily venti lattes by arguing that interior designers have to ape their wealthy clients. When she discovers condom wrappers while laundering Griff’s pants, her busybody sister Viv goads her to investigate further. There’s a fancy restaurant bill, unusual for famously frugal Griff. Is he wining and dining his young, sexy assistant Bree? Griff has a secret MasterCard, and he has somehow diverted $10,000 to a separate bank account. Kat’s denial evaporates when she finds e-mail exchanges between Bree and Griff indicating that he is going to “break it to” Kat when Laura graduates high school. Kat has about seven months to amass a divorce contingency fund of $15,000. Enter the Penny Pinchers Club, endearingly fanatical misfits who introduce Kat to the secrets of samurai saving, e.g. swarm en masse in search of discounts and rebates, buy in bulk and freeze, etc. Kat is arrested while dumpster-diving with “freegan” former investment banker Wade. Griff and Bree are increasingly closeted, allegedly researching his book about a reclusive ex-Fed chairman. Liam resurfaces, seeking a designer to refurbish his new mansion. As Liam, still smitten, offers her a safe harbor, Kat is increasingly tempted to question the choice she made years before between financial security and the love of her life.Thanks to Strohmeyer’s penchant for humor, Kat’s adventures entertain despite the transparently contrived plot.
Pub Date: July 2, 2009
Page Count: 288
Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2009
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by Hanya Yanagihara ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 10, 2015
The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.
Awards & Accolades
Best Books Of 2015
National Book Award Finalist
Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.
Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.
Pub Date: March 10, 2015
Page Count: 720
Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2014
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015
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More About This Book
by J.D. Salinger ‧ RELEASE DATE: June 15, 1951
A strict report, worthy of sympathy.
A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.
"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….A strict report, worthy of sympathy.
Pub Date: June 15, 1951
Page Count: -
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951
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