From Publishers Weekly
After a childhood spent in thrall to her sex-crazed, manic depressive fortune-teller mother, Maz Lombard is, understandably, a proponent of normalcy. But her carefully constructed family life in New Haven, Conn., collapses when her husband has an affair with the teacher at their daughter's babysitting co-op and then decamps to Santa Fe. Equal parts energetic comedy and earnest domestic saga, this brisk novel by the author of three parenting books hovers somewhat uneasily at a crossroads between poetry and punch line: very funny scenes, such as when Maz's precocious 10-year-old daughter, Hope, makes Maz's potential boyfriend deeply uncomfortable ("Look, just so you know, I do not want a new daddy"), butt up against gritty but mythologized memories of Maz's carnival circuit rounds with her mother, Madame Lucille. The plot thickens when Maz's husband, Lenny, unexpectedly returns to find Maz entwined with a new young lover and Madame Lucille shows up with husband number six for a long-term visit. But when Lenny and Madame Lucille kidnap Hope and whisk her away to Santa Fe, Maz realizes she must once and for all find the courage to defy her past in order to protect her future. Though lovely descriptions often grace the pages, and there are plenty of laughs, readers might feel that Maz is a bit curmudgeonly for a heroine.
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Maz Lombard isn't crazy, but her life sure is. Her husband, Lenny, had an affair with a nursery-school teacher named Jolie, and then up and left for Santa Fe. A year later, Maz finally goes out on a date with Dan, a handsome doctor, but it gets sabotaged by her wacky family: her mother, Lucille, calls to tell Maz she's getting married for the sixth time, and Maz's eldest daughter, Hope, interrupts the date to inform Maz and Dan that Lenny is coming back home. Maz breaks things off with Dan, even though he accepts Maz's eccentric family. But Maz soon finds herself drawn into a different relationship: a passionate affair with an attractive younger man who just happens to be Jolie's boyfriend. When both Lenny and Lucille descend upon Maz's household, she realizes that if she wants to keep her family together, she's going to have to get her life in order. Shelton's lively novel is perfect for readers who enjoy the antics of quirky characters. Kristine HuntleyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved