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Any Place I Hang My Hat

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A political reporter in her late 20s goes in search of the mother who abandoned her when she was a baby in this jaunty if rather jerky 10th novel by Isaacs (Long Time No See; Red, White, and Blue; etc.). Amy Lincoln was brought up in the projects by her Grandma Lil, a leg waxer and devoted Falcon Crest viewer; her amiable father, Chicky, spent most of Amy's childhood in prison on a series of minor theft raps. A boarding school scholarship rescues Amy from lower-class oblivion; she goes on to Harvard and Columbia, then lands a job at In Depth, a highbrow weekly. Upbeat and self-deprecating, Amy spends little time bemoaning her past, but an encounter with college student Freddy Carrasco, who claims he's the illegitimate son of a Democratic presidential candidate, gets Amy wondering where her own mother might be. While advising Freddy how to approach his father, she uses her reporting skills to track down her elusive mother. The political subplot is anticlimactic Amy doesn't even get a scoop and Amy's eventual reunion with her mother, revealed to be a chilly suburban housewife, is credibly if rather disappointingly subdued. The parade of lavishly and loopishly described secondary characters and gossipy New York scene-setting give the novel its zing; Amy's rocky relationship with her documentary filmmaker boyfriend provides a jolt of romantic excitement and a happy ending. Agent, Owen Laster. (Oct. 5) Forecast: This might not do as well as Isaacs's last novel, Long Time No See, which reintroduced popular Isaacs protagonist Judith Singer, but a major marketing campaign including heavy promotion in the New York area and a seven-city author tour should help it hit some bestseller lists. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Best-selling author Isaacs sets her latest novel (after Long Time, No See) in her native New York City, where political reporter Amy Lincoln searches for emotional fulfillment. At a campaign party for Democratic presidential candidate Thom Bowles, Amy witnesses a young Hispanic man being taken away following his declaration that he is Thom's son. His bold attempt prompts Amy to reexamine her life and her ability to find contentment; she wonders why her mother abandoned her as a baby and whether she will ever be able to settle down with her boyfriend of two years. Amy's workaholic routine and tendency to overanalyze her rocky past counter her desperate need to find closeness and comfort. Her discussions with her socialite friend, Tatty, and the traumatic end of her relationship eventually lead to a purposeful and potentially life-changing search for her mother. Isaacs's luscious descriptions draw out each character's personality and unique contribution to Amy's journey of self-healing. Recommended for all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/04.] Laura M. Wight, South Dakota State Univ. Lib., Brookings Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

"Well-written, very funny, and incredible smart." -- O, The Oprah Magazine "A witty, warm-hearted novel, with a heroine you'll cheer for until the final absolute treat." -- Jennifer Weiner, author of Goodnight Nobody "Nobody does smart, gutsy, funny, sexy women better than Susan Isaacs.... A merrily observant, moving, and -- as always with Isaacs -- very entertaining novel." -- The Washington Post "A book with substance and a big heart." -- The Seattle Times

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