Love in the Time of Taffeta
An unusual day job complicates a struggling young photographer's personal life before it inadvertently sparks her career in Olson's diverting new novel (following The Pajama Game). After 31-year-old Iley Gilbert quits her tedious gig in a Boston frame shop, she finds work as an assistant to William Jasper, a sexy but married prom photographer who's a frustrated artist like Iley. Their attraction leads to series of post-prom motel room romps-a passionate relationship as dead-end as her last day job. While Iley and William take formal prom portraits, Iley idly documents the teens with candid shots. She regularly spots one promgoer (""the slutty girl, the one I hate to see for reasons I don't like to think about"") with different dates at various proms, and carelessly outs her-an action she'll later regret. The reckless, self-destructive behavior of Olsen's imperfect but endearing heroine may frustrate readers, but as prom season gives way to wedding season-and the humiliating fallout of Iley and William's affair-they'll be rewarded with her growth and redemption.