From Publishers Weekly
In Shapiro's bubbly latest, self-help guru Julia Goodman is fresh out of advice. Just as Julia is about to follow up her bestseller Up in Smoke with a book about controlling her food addiction, her shrink, Dr. Ness, and best friend, Sarah, both leave New York, sending her into a cupcake-scarfing tailspin. Soon she has packed on some extra pounds that she must lose before Food Crazy is published. To make matters worse, her director husband, Jake, has been called away to L.A., leaving no one to stop her late-night binges. Without Dr. Ness's tough talk, Sarah's help and Jake's love, Julia searches for a new support system, interviewing eight shrinks in eight days. Her selection, Dr. Cigar, only complicates her quest to return to her svelte weight in time for her Today show interview, leaving her to find her own answers to the weight question. Shapiro rescues a conventional plot with an original voice and an energy that will resonate with anyone who's ever stared down a Twinkie. (Aug.)
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Rachel Solomon is ecstatic to escape her upper-middle-class midwestern Jewish family for bohemian New York City, chasing her dream of becoming a photographer. Her first step, a job at a magazine, becomes complicated when she meets the person she’s replacing. Elizabeth Mann is the Waspy daughter of one of Rachel’s favorite photographers and appears to have everything that Rachel desires: an upcoming photography show, famous family friends, and no Jewish mother who sends her suburban-chic clothing, or pressues her to become a doctor like Rachel’s father and two brothers. Elizabeth scoffs at everything Rachel loves, yet every break Rachel gets in the business is through Elizabeth. When Elizabeth ends up marrying one of Rachel’s brothers, Rachel feels bereft. It seems as though her friend is deserting her to become part of Rachel’s wacky clan, usurping what should be Rachel’s role in the family. Shapiro expertly captures the elusive aspects of family, friendship, and love in this winning dramedy. --Patty Engelmann
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