By Olivia Goldsmith.
This is a book I have had a hard time getting into in the past. Mostly because the characters come across as pretty unpleasant at the beginning, and that doesn't help one get into the book so much.
The plot: Phyllis Geronomous (the names in this book, man) moved to Florida because her husband wanted to, but now that he's dead, she has Had Enough of the place. She's moving back to NYC for the holidays, whether her kids want her to or not. And oh boy, THEY DO NOT. Oldest daughter Susan Sigourney is a broker who's fallen on hard times financially and romantically and is quietly sinking, and she doesn't need her mother in town to support either. Middle child Sharon, who nobody likes, is a weepy mess with a deadbeat husband and 2 kids. Youngest son Bruce can't figure out whether or not to commit to his boyfriend and is having a hard time getting his queer greeting card company off the ground. And nobody wants Mom around nitpicking at them and making their lives worse.
That's where Sig* gets the idea of the three of them finding a rich old guy to marry their mom off to. Bruce can do the styling, Sharon can find prospects, and Sig will use what's left of her money to pass her mom off as also loaded. Turns out that while the top prospect is a bust, Phyllis has tracked down her own man on the airplane ride over there. But there's something about him that may not be on the up-and-up. And then there's backup 70-year-old stud Paul Cushing, who Sig has in mind as a backup should Monty fail. However, Paul's interests may lie elsewhere.
Here's the thing about this book: I found the characters all fairly unpleasant at first. Phyllis has a sense of humor (blunt,but enjoyable), but is pretty brutal to her kids. The kids are also pretty brutal and I was wondering who the hell I was supposed to be rooting for. But I will say that after awhile, folks lightened up and got more bearable. The respective romances in the book are sweet and while fast as hell (seriously, I think all of this happens way sooner than 30 days, even), darned if they don't work. I felt for Sig's quiet sinking in her life after awhile--and why she's this desperate for someone to bring money into this family since she's losing her own ability to. So while in a way it's silly and frothy and a wee bit too miraculous, it turns out to be an enjoyable read. Go figure.
Three and a half stars.
* I can understand finding the name Susan boring--hell, Ms. Weaver did-- but picking a more exotic first name is pretty much trashed when everyone calls you "Sig" all the time. Uck.