The Many Loves of Mila
In Swinton's first installment in her Mila in America series, Mila Simon has a stable but unfulfilling marriage to investment banker Cliff. She finds excitement elsewhere, beginning an affair with theater director Dominic. After Mila tells Cliff about the affair but continues to have contact with Dominic, her husband leaves and she returns home to live with her Russian Jewish parents in the New Jersey suburbs. There, Mila slowly tries to put her life back together, sees a therapist, and returns to the dating scene in a major way. While Swinton delivers snappy dialogue and ably captures the nightmares of the singles scene, her protagonist is underdeveloped—and the novel suffers for it. Mila is, by turns, scattered, hysterical, and unable to take advice, and she acts without forethought, leaving readers frustrated with her character and confused about her motivations and where the narrative is going.