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Love conquers all, though you’ll wish it wouldn’t.

Stephanie Glassman is a single mother working a scraped-together string of part-time jobs while feeling guilty about leaving Jake, her increasingly bratty toddler, at home with an indulgent nanny. Stephanie is a talented singer who has all but given up on her dream of a musical career when she runs into her old crush Frank, who comes complete with fame, good looks, and the irksome incompatible fiancée. His presence at one of Stephanie’s small singing gigs makes her day. Meanwhile, friends encourage Stephanie to send CDs out to agents, and Jake’s father, Albert, pops in for the holidays with Sunnie, his stereotypically ditzy girlfriend. We learn that though Albert is a self-centered womanizer, he genuinely cares for his child and strives to be a good father. When Sunnie finds herself pursuing an old flame, Stephanie and Albert succumb again to their physical attraction, and Albert even spits out the idea of marriage and their possible future as a happy family. The story lags as Stephanie repeatedly runs into Frank (newly single), and discusses her love-life options with friend Lizzie (the unappreciated wife and mother) and Cass (the fun-lovin’ single girl). Eventually, Stephanie gets that big call from an agent. Thinking that she may land the lead in a musical, she finds herself congratulated by her squealing friends, family, and Frank, but, alas, not by Albert. She’s disappointed to learn that her supposed break involves providing vocals for a lip-synching Hollywood diva named Katherine Martinez (wittily tagged “K-Mart”). So Stephanie makes a series of questionable choices, driven by her need to make a living and her concern for her son. A subplot involving Lizzie and her cheating husband has an unnecessarily tidy ending, as does our main story.

Rife with female frivolity, punchy one-liners, and sex. Margolis (Apocalipstick, 2003, etc.) is at her best when she veers from the shenanigans and lets us glimpse our heroine in her poignant everyday struggles.

Pub Date: June 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-385-33733-7
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Delta
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2004


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