By Lauren Fox
Knopf, $24.95, 288 pages
Jane Weston and Willa Jacobs, two tall women with masses of curly hair, are best friends and roommates. Willa reconnects with Ben at their tenth high school reunion and brings him home to Jane. Ben and Jane fall in love. Willa thinks she is happy for them – until they decide to get married.
“The road to enlightenment is steep.”
Lauren Fox obviously knows this twenty-something slacker terrain well. She nails the diffidence and nuance of life on the financial edge, which works just fine as long as everyone is happy with the status quo. The novel is a record of the irrepressible turbulence that besets loving relationships.
Willa, Jane, and Ben blend together into a seamless unit, for awhile. By the end of the novel, they have all grown up a little, but not much. They each have many excuses for behaving thoughtlessly: warring parents, indifferent parents, clueless parents – parents, really – but this does not excuse the amount of pain they inflict on one another. Watch and learn.
The book is sparky, full of puns, ironic, often funny, and doesn’t resolve a thing. A fine summer read.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Benford