My Hollywood

Mona Simpson, Knopf, $26.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-307-27352-9
In her first novel since Off Keck Road (2000), Simpson tells a blistering story of fractured love and flailing parents. Claire, a composer and new mother, has moved to Santa Monica, Calif., so that her husband, Paul, can follow his dreams of becoming a TV comedy writer. When Paul's job requires late nights, Claire, already overwhelmed with balancing motherhood and career, hires Lola, a middle-aged Filipina, to help with her son, William, and soon Lola's trying to plug holes in Claire and Paul's slowly sinking family ship. Claire and Lola narrate in alternating chapters; fragile and sometimes fierce Claire deploys a biting wit that shreds the pretensions that permeate her social life and her marriage, while Lola is more open-hearted and eager to help people, though she also draws laughs with her observations about wealthy families. The story both satirizes and earnestly assesses the failings of upper-middle-class L.A., and Simpson's taut prose allows her to drill into the heart of relationships, often times with a single biting sentence. Funny, smart, and filled with razor sharp observations about life and parenthood, Simpson's latest is well worth the wait. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/28/2010
Release date: 08/01/2010
Compact Disc - 978-0-7927-7190-6
Paperback - 417 pages - 978-1-78033-220-8
Paperback - 369 pages - 978-0-307-47502-2
Ebook - 264 pages - 978-1-84901-750-3
Paperback - 417 pages - 978-1-84901-704-6
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-0-7927-7280-4
MP3 CD - 978-0-7927-7244-6
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