In their follow-up to last year's The Botox Diaries, co-authors Janice Kaplan and Lynn Schnurnberger turn again to a group of suburban 40-somethings coping with love and life. Sara Turner has just moved into a wealthy gated community on the outskirts of New York City with her new fiancÅ½. She's struggling to smooth out life for her son and her unhappy teenage almost-stepdaughter while at the same time pursuing a new career as a television chef on the food network. Suddenly without warning her ex-husband reappears from a decade-long retreat in the wilderness of Patagonia, demanding to meet the son he's never seen and throwing everything out of whack. Thank goodness Sara has her wise and witty friends to support her.
They aren't without their own baggage, however. Sara's friend Kate Steele is a gorgeous dermatologist with a Park Avenue office who finds herself falling for a very successful and very married real estate tycoon. And Berni Davis, Sara's neighbor, is dealing with the aftermath of her decision to abandon a career as a cutthroat talent agent in favor of being a mom to her new twins.
The book is full of hilariously over-the-top situations, like the sex toy party thrown by a group of suburban women to welcome newcomers to the neighborhood. Yet the steady stream of witty zingers occasionally swells to an overwhelming avalanche of clichÅ½d humor. It's only when the patter of jokes is slowed down ever so slightly that the characters are finally able to shine through.
The three women emerge from their mid-life crises relatively unscathed, concluding that the bumps in life are what make the journey all that more exciting. Mine Are Spectacular! is a welcome addition to hen lit and a great choice for a summer read.
Iris Blasi is a writer in New York City.