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In 1996 Jane Green revolutionized women's literature with Straight Talking and its free-spirited heroine, Tasha. Sixteen years and two-million-copies later, Jane is now a mother of four, married twice and dealing with all the things a woman in her forties faces on a daily basis. She and her husband live in Connecticut with their blended family of six children. Visit the author online at janegreen.com and on facebook facebook.com/authorjanegreen
Ellie Black is engaged to the man of her dreams, but he comes with baggage-namely, Linda Cooper, his needy, meddlesome, and obtrusive mother. Green's latest novel (a best seller in Britain) follows Linda's attempts to insinuate herself into every aspect of her new daughter-in-law's life. At first, Ellie is excited to become part of her husband's outwardly happy family, but the more she learns about the Coopers, the more dysfunctional they appear. When Linda is involved in a tragic accident with Ellie's newborn son, the aftermath nearly destroys both women's marriages and forces them to reconsider their relationships with their families and with each other. The mother-in-law from hell story is apocryphal in women's fiction, and this novel often treads familiar territory. In someone else's hands, it could have been yet another ho-hum chick-lit novel, propped up with overwrought melodrama or ridiculous slapstick. However, Green's trademark wit makes this a worthwhile read that will be enjoyed by a wider audience than most typical chick lit. Recommended for all public libraries.-Nanette Wargo Donohue, Champaign P.L., IL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Ellie's found her Mr. Right-too bad his mom's got him all wrapped up in her apron strings. Bestseller Green (Bookends; Jemima J; etc.) saddles her heroine with the mother-in-law from hell in her latest bit of comic frippery. Ellie's mom was an alcoholic who died when Ellie was 13, so it's understandable that at first she's "over the moon" about being embraced by Dan's entire family. But poor Ellie never saw the meddlesome Mrs. Cooper coming. Mrs. Cooper calls her three times a day at work, plays devoted son against desperate daughter-in-law, takes control of the wedding plans and then, after the wedding and then birth of Ellie's son, Tom, seems to forget that Ellie even exists ("Hello, my gorgeous boys," she croons into the answering machine). More and more significant troubles loom: having a baby is hard! Marriage is hard! Green offers scenes of real pathos. ("We've become one of those couples that I used to dread becoming: the couples that sit in restaurants all night and don't say a word to each other"). The setup is solid, but the prose is flat: Ellie narrates with all the energy and ?lan of a bored, middle-aged housewife. She perks up, though, at the requisite happy ending. (Apr.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.