Posted by Cape Cod Daily News via WordPress Tag Cape Cod
Friday December 02, 2022 (1 month, 3 weeks ago)
NY: Simon & Schuster, 2021.
Jennifer Weiner is a first-rate storyteller. She writes what are generally called “domestic novels,” deeply complex and often convoluted narratives embracing multiple plotlines, and with thoroughly realized, multidimensional character portraits that come alive on the page. Her stories hold your attention and suck you right in, and they’ll keep you reading until you learn everything that happened in the past — because her plots always have their roots in the past — and how it’s all going to turn out.
This one is about two women named Diana, one a housewife in Philadelphia, the other apparently a high-powered businesswoman in New York City, and they only become acquainted because their email addresses are so very similar. Philadelphia Diana — who has been “Daisy” since her husband, Hal, insisted on rechristening her before their marriage twenty years ago — is a dedicated foodie who has a small business teaching less gifted people how to cook and she looks after the house her husband inherited and tries to get her fourteen-year-old oddball daughter, Beatrice, to talk to her. New York Diana is a mystery — and, as you will soon discover, an artfully managed one. The two women will meet (because that’s the whole point) and will quickly become friends, and then the plot (in both senses of the word) will begin to unfurl.
And that’s about all I can say without spoiling everything for you. It’s both a very old story and a very modern “me, too” story and even the villains aren’t really evil. — just arrogant, entitled, selfish, and blind to the world around them and to the other people in it. It’s a book about Cape Cod and late night beach parties, and about thwarted ambitions you never even knew you had, and about being young and 100% your own self, and about facing the past as well as the future. I’ve read half a dozen of Weiner’s novels so far and I would recommend any of them as well worth your time, but this may be her best yet.