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Lucky Me: A Novel Paperback – March 28, 2006
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“A domestic goddess with a loving family cracks in this funny-yet-sad tribute to moms who keep chaos at bay on a daily basis.” —Chicago Tribune
“Domestic chaos at its best. A bright, warm, sad, and hysterically funny mix of characters all stirred together in a compelling plot.” —Jeanne Ray, author of Julie and Romeo Get Lucky
“Perfect easy beach reading.” —Times Picayune
From the Inside Flap
"Lucky Me is that rare book that captures--in the vein of Elinor Lipman and Elizabeth Berg--what it really means to be a modern woman.
Julie Berman seems to have it all: a beautiful home in suburban New Jersey, a loving husband, a budding career as a freelance journalist, and two great kids. To the outside world, her life is perfect--little do they know that behind the faade, Julie is beginning to feel like her world is falling apart.
Among her worries is a nagging fear that she's turning into her mother--just as neurotic, just as crazy, and just as consumed by appearances. Then there's the handsome, charming, and quite single editor at the local newspaper who has definitely taken a liking to her . . . which wouldn't be a problem if he wasn't so tempting. Add to that her moody, monosyllabic teenage son, who may or may not be having sex with a new girlfriend (whom Julie's not sure she approves of, sex or not). But the final blow to her sanity comes in the form of a phone call from her daughter, who informs Julie of her plans to run off with her boyfriend . . . who's also her college professor.
"Lucky Me is a journey into the year when everything seems to come to a head in Julie's life--and when she realizes that there are some things you can't control, especially the people you love. Wise, irreverent, tender, and funny, "Lucky Me is for every woman who has ever felt--despite her most valiant efforts--less than perfect.
"From the Hardcover edition.
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Julie Berman faces a monosyllabic son who discovers the joy of sex, a blissfully devoted husband who is oblivious to his wife's boredom and perpetual anxieties and a bright collegiate daughter whose infatuation with her college professor exposes every crack in the supposedly solid relationship in the family. As if these difficulties were not enough, Julie has the hots for a local journalist and the miseries of trying to deal with her own mother's life-long passive-aggressive pathologies. Borden could have written a novel that treats an important theme: how adult children come to grips with the unintended cruelties inflicted on them by their parents. Instead, Julie's mother is little more than the Jewish mother from hell, and Julie's sufferings amount to little more than wringing her hands until she meets the oracular Dr. Bob, a mental health worker who doesn't even receive the dignity of a last name.
Not only does Borden insult her readers with a hackneyed plot and unaffecting characters; she inundates us with details that add nothing to the novel. Why in the world would anyone care to have a person-by-person accounting of a Passover dinner invitation list? Who cares what sexual positions her dogs assume when they decide that the Seder is the proper time to exercise their "feelings" for each other. Is it really important for us to know what designer labels Julie favors or what the enormous emotional toll exacted on her when she can't figure out exactly what outfit to wear to lunch?
"Lucky Me" is a novel of lost opportunities. Instead of elucidating the tumult, fear and anger an adult child needs to express in overcoming the long-term consequences of being raised by an oppressive parent, author Debra Borden supplies bromides and the predictable happy-ever-after conclusion a discerning reader could predict from page one. All that's missing from this tepid debut is a peel-off happy face. If good vibrations is what you're after, save your money -- buy some children's stickers rather than squander your money on this book.
I noticed this book is featured in this month's Redbook magazine. This can only be the result of some excellent PR person.