GIRLS' POKER NIGHT

Jill Davis, Author
Jill Davis, Author . Random $23.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-375-50514-0
Reviewed on: 01/07/2002
Release date: 02/01/2002
Open Ebook - 978-1-58836-225-4
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-8129-6683-1
Mass Market Paperbound - 256 pages - 978-0-345-46967-0
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When journalist Ruby Capote decides to flee boring Boston for the bright lights and hopefully more exciting world of New York City, she discovers love is still the same challenge it was in Bean Town. By turns endearing, funny and downright irritating, Capote ends one relationship with the annoying but handsome Doug and begins another with her editor boss Michael, all the while mulling things over with her circle of female poker pals. Rather like refugees from a bargain basement Sex and the City, the friends provide shaky support as Capote continues to search for meaning and happiness, both in her humor columns and in reality. Navigating the perilous waters of workplace romance, Capote wisecracks her way through until she discovers that she must deal with some real—and poignant—issues. Davis, herself an erstwhile newspaper columnist (and a writer for David Letterman), paints the newsroom universe and its inhabitants with colorful irony, while exuding empathy for single career women everywhere. Constructed of breezy chapters that often read like surreal "Lifestyle" columns, the trump card of this slim volume is its blend of humor and rueful sadness. The brittle Capote always has her guard up; she is quick with a quip and ready to run at a moment's notice the instant life gets serious. This amusing though somewhat dialogue-heavy first novel won't reveal the secrets of winning at poker, but it does teach an attentive reader that dealing from the bottom of the deck doesn't work. "You set yourself up for happiness or you set yourself up for sadness. Either way, it's your doing," notes Capote's therapist in an Ally McBeal-esque segment. Or in cardspeak: if you don't keep shuffling and playing, you'll never know when you'll have a winning hand. Deal. (Feb. 19)

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