From Publishers Weekly
Brief, punchy slices of daily life originally published in her Philadelphia Inquirer
column allow novelist Scottoline (Everywhere That Mary Went
) to dish on men, mothers, panty lines and, especially, dogs. Somewhere in her mid-50s, twice divorced (from men she calls Thing One and Thing Two) and living happily in the burbs with her recent college-graduate daughter and a passel of pets, Scottoline maintains a frothy repartee with the reader as she discusses ways she would redecorate the White House (Cupholders for all!), relies on her built-in Guilt-O-Meter to get dreaded tasks done (a broken garbage disposal rates only a 1, while accumulating late fees at the library rates a 7) and contemplates, while making a will, who will get her cellulite. For some quick gags, Scottoline brings in various family members: mother Mary, a whippersnapper at 4'11 who lives in South Beach with her gay son, Scottoline's brother Frank, and possesses a coveted back-scratcher; and her Harvard-educated daughter, Francesca. Plunging into home improvement frenzy, constructing a chicken coop, figuring out mystifying insurance policies and how not to die at the gym are some of the conundrums this ordinary woman faces with verve and wicked humor, especially how her beloved dogs have contentedly replaced the romance in her life. (Dec.)
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Scottoline, author of several thrillers featuring women and writer of the weekly Chick Wit column in the Philadelphia Inquirer, offers a collection of her published columns and additional commentary on life from a woman’s perspective. Her columns feature the people in her life—mom (aka Mother Mary), brother, daughter, friends, and her pets, including four dogs of long and faithful companionship, thus the title of the book. Minor characters are two ex-husbands she calls Thing One and Thing Two. Among her observations and ruminations: how divorce has led to families having multiple dogs, the virtues of visible panty and bra lines, starting a religion that allows women to have multiple husbands, how women’s magazines ignore women over 40, the bittersweet experience of a child going off to college, and the awkwardness of men determined not to look at women’s breasts, which results in fixed stares. Scottoline takes the fodder of everyday life and offers witty reflections from a female perspective. --Vanessa Bush