A starred review indicates a book of outstanding quality. A review with a blue-tinted title indicates a book of unusual commercial interest that hasn't received a starre"/>

THE WONDER SPOT

Melissa Bank, Author . Viking $24.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-670-03411-6

A starred review indicates a book of outstanding quality. A review with a blue-tinted title indicates a book of unusual commercial interest that hasn't received a starred review.

THE WONDER SPOT Melissa Bank . Viking , $24.95 (324p) ISBN 0-670-03411-8

Fans of the megasuccessful Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing , rejoice. Bank is back with an equally entertaining first novel, starring Sophie Applebaum, a sarcastic, self-deprecating middle child from a suburban Jewish family who moves from a fish-out-of-water adolescence to a how-did-I-get-here adulthood. Likable Sophie's (mis)adventures in life and love include an attempt to use lyrics from Bob Dylan's "It Ain't Me, Babe" to argue against the necessity of attending Hebrew school and a penchant for imagining her future life with men she barely knows (a potential beau's ability to cook fish becomes "a metaphor for the hard things we will face together"). A slightly cynical yet romantic optimism grounds Sophie—and gives Bank plenty of opportunities for clever quips: cribbing a career objective in publishing from a résumé handbook, Sophie diligently copies exercises found in the long-overdue library book 20th Century Typing , including "Know Your Typewriter," and she agrees to a blind date with a pediatric surgeon by noting that she possesses her own "pediatric heart." But this isn't just another urban chick-lit bildungsroman; Bank's work also features the intriguing transformations of the other Applebaums: a grandmother's slip into senility, Sophie's mother's dip into infidelity, a brother's turn toward Orthodox Judaism. Through it all, Sophie never quite escapes the sense of being a "solid trying to do a liquid's job," a feeling as frightening as it is familiar to those struggling to achieve a grownup self-awareness. Engrossing, engaging—it's a wonderful return for Bank. 12-city author tour. Agent, Molly Friedrich. (June 7)

Reviewed on: 03/14/2005
Release date: 06/01/2005
Show other formats
FORMATS
Compact Disc - 978-0-14-305765-9
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-101-19181-1
Open Ebook - 978-1-101-42550-3
Hardcover - 978-0-14-180609-9
Hardcover - 415 pages - 978-1-58547-662-6
Paperback - 324 pages - 978-0-14-303721-7
Open Ebook - 978-0-7865-7041-6
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 978-0-7865-7042-3
Paperback - 324 pages - 978-0-14-103471-3
Hardcover - 352 pages - 978-0-670-91588-0
Hardcover - 324 pages - 978-0-14-102184-3
Hardcover - 324 pages - 978-0-670-91587-3
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.