From Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Flock's downer latest takes a glimpse inside a dysfunctional and affluent Chicago family. Samantha Friedman is an unhappy stay-at-home mother of three and wife to her distant and despondent husband, Bob. Their adopted 17-year-old daughter, Cammy, as unhappy as her mother, has found goth, drugs and sex. The unhappy flailings of the two provide the narrative momentum; Cammy's mopey journals (which include, for better or for worse, her poetry) document her pain and reckless behavior, and Samantha's narration explores her affair with a married man. When Cammy learns the truth about her birth mother and the circumstances of her adoption, she sinks further into despair, and Samantha attempts to connect with her while teetering on the brink of abandoning her marriage. Flock's plot is heavy on the sorrow, though there's a requisitely redemptive ending to lighten the familiar and melancholy arc. (Mar.)
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In her fourth novel, popular Flock once again focuses on a dysfunctional family, this time the Friedmans of Chicago: Bob, a sports-shoe designer; his wife, Samantha; and 16-year-old Cammy and her 8-year-old twin brothers. Bob and Sam adopted Cammy when they thought they were infertile; now in the midst of her rebellious teenage years, Cammy is cutting class, smoking pot, having indiscriminate sex, and, above all, feeling like an outcast in her own family. Flock draws astute parallels between the alienated Cammy and Sam—living in a sexless marriage, bored with driving to endless soccer practices, and “sick of being the devoted mom.” Sam falls into a somewhat trite relationship with a very attentive married man—consisting mostly of Starbucks coffee dates and “meaningful” conversations. Caught up in her new life, Sam fails to realize the extent of Cammy’s self-destructive behavior, with tragic results. Not quite as original a plot as Flock’s earlier novels, but still filled with perceptive, dead-on insights into both teenage angst and the common pitfalls of marriage in the middle years. --Deborah Donovan