cover image Paulina & Fran

Paulina & Fran

Rachel B. Glaser. Harper Perennial, $14.99 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-0-06-237734-0

Glaser (Pee on Water) spins a story about two art students and the paths they take on the road to their destinies. After traveling together on a school trip to Norway, Paulina and Fran form a fragile friendship based on perceptions and assumptions. Paulina is an obsessive, narcissistic young woman who assumes everyone exists for her to seduce; Fran is far more modest and unsure of her appeal. After Fran gets involved with one of Paulina's former boyfriends, their fragile peace is shattered. The friendship devolves and the two enter into a twisted conflict, determined to transcend the circumstances that have separated them. As they look toward the future and wonder what their post-college years will look like, both women flail against the bonds of society's expectations and attempt to explore the forces that will define their lives in a future that doesn't resemble any of their art school dreams. Glaser's prose is witty, well-imagined, and fun to read, capturing all the weirdness of growing up. (Sept.)