Perfect Life

Jessica Shattuck, Author . Norton $24.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-393-06950-1

Shattuck’s seamless second (after The Hazards of Good Breeding ) explores how one woman’s decision to shut the biological father of her child out of her life affects a group of old college pals. Harvard grad Neil Banks isn’t exactly thrilled at having sold out and taken a job that moved him from L.A. to Boston to design the video games he used to review. After his arrival, he happens across Laura, a mutual friend of his and his college sweetheart, Jenny, who got pregnant using Neil’s sperm after her blank-shooting husband couldn’t deliver. As Laura, now unhappily married and the mother of two, and Neil embark on an affair, Neil’s desire to connect with the son he’s never met (and signed away all rights to) grows ever more intense. His chance comes in the form of a sexually voracious rep from Jenny’s pharma company who is working on an antidepressant product-placement deal for a game Neil’s designing. Shattuck does a great job with her characters, and the bizarre situations they find themselves in—Neil particularly—come across as oddly believable. Light humor and breezy prose seal the deal. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 06/22/2009
Release date: 08/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 315 pages - 978-0-393-30459-6
Open Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-393-07150-4
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