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Summer reading : a novel
Hilma Wolitzer
Adult Fiction WOLITZE

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From Publishers' Weekly:

The eighth novel from Wolitzer (The Doctor's Daughter) opens as Alyssa (Lissy) Snyder-trophy second wife, reluctant stepmom, and major dyslexic-hosts a summer book discussion group. She's hoping to catch the attention of Ardith Templeton, who initiated the group and who, with her husband Larry, commands center stage in the tony Hamptons social scene. Retired English professor Angela Graves conducts the group, assigns the readings and tries to inspire her charges to take life lessons from the likes of Jane Eyre and Madame Bovary. Lissy gamely tries to read enough pages (or search out enough online commentary) to appear prepared-but Ardith rarely shows up. Meanwhile, Lissy's husband dotes on his children and begins spending time with his first wife. First-person chapters alternate among Lissy, Angela (who picks over old regrets), and Michelle Cutty, a young local who works as Lissy's summer maid and who provides some class-based frisson. There are small pleasures, but the trio of pretty endings is too hurried (and in Lissy's case too unearned) to be satisfying. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Just in time for, well, summer reading, comes Wolitzer's follow-up to The Doctor's Daughter. Three characters' stories weave together with a Hamptons summer book club as their common thread. Lissy is a second wife to wealthy Jeffrey and stepmom to his two difficult kids. Michelle works for Lissy as a housekeeper who sees all, while at home she's dealing with noncommittal boyfriend Hank and his challenging teenage daughter. And Angela is an older woman who facilitates book groups for the rich summer people. As her past secrets resurface, she is forced to face them head on. The reader can enjoy these stories as well as the novels the book group is reading, which are interwoven into the protagonists' lives in a loose, interesting way. It's the buzz of upper-crust life in the Hamptons mixed with Gabriel Garc!a M rquez, Harry Potter, and Madame Bovary-quite an ensemble! Sweet like a summer peach and not too cloying-a thinking reader's beach book; recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/07; library marketing planned.]-Beth Gibbs, Davidson, NC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Alyssa "Lissy" Snyder
Female
Married
Hosts a summer book discussion group at her home; hopes to get into the Hampton social scene; pretends to follow what is going on in the discussion groups; husband is spending more time with his children and first wife than with her.

Angela Graves
Female
Retired
Former English professor; runs a summer book discussion at Lissy's house; hopes to inspire her group to take life lessons from the books' character.



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