On the Loose: Big-City Days and Nights of Three Single Women

Melissa Roth, Author William Morrow & Company $23 (256p) ISBN 978-0-688-15801-9
Roth, a freelance journalist, doesn't get far beyond fashion magazine chirpiness in her exploration of the lives and loves (or lusts) of three single, upper-middle-class white women ranging in age from 29 to 33. She set out to understand and portray independent women who are not desperate to find husbands. Despite the fact that Jen, a Los Angeles film producer; Anna, a San Francisco advertising executive; and Casey, a New Yorker who handles media relations for a record company, are different from one another, Roth fails to individualize them or bring them to life. The three describe a variety of romantic and sexual encounters with both married and unmarried men that appear to end badly. All, however, express satisfaction with their choices. As Roth interviews her subjects and listens in on their conversations with friends, the picture that emerges is not flattering: ""Lynn is shaking her head. She just broke up with a forty-four-year-old real estate broker. `I fired him,' Lynn says when Jen asks her about the real estate guy. `You downsized?' `Had to.'"" Maybe in real life this girl-talk was accompanied by arched eyebrows and wit, but, on the page, it comes across as the most superficial kind of irony--a tone from which the book seldom diverges. Little of life is revealed beyond stressful well-paid jobs, work-related travel, exotic vacations and the restaurants and bars the women frequent. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
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