cover image Through Thick and Thin

Through Thick and Thin

Alison Pace, . . Berkley, $14 (291pp) ISBN 978-0-425-21561-6

Pace (Pug Hill ; If Andy Warhol Had a Girlfriend ) delivers an endearing third novel about two sisters and their quests for companionship and an effective diet. Meredith Isley is very single and not so skinny. She's a restaurant critic for The NY magazine and finds in haute cuisine what she has trouble finding in romance: satisfaction. Across the Hudson, Meredith's sister, Stephanie, is a married new mother who was skinny growing up, but hasn't yet lost her pregnancy weight. Stephanie, too, fights her own loneliness and tries to survive motherhood and a troubled marriage. When both sisters decide to diet, what they gain, instead of pounds, is, not surprisingly, sometimes trite insight. Meredith's work begins to suffer, but a four-legged addition to her life heralds change. By craftily portraying the balancing act between work and play, family (be it four-legged or two) and friends, and food and fasting, Pace doesn't capture anything revolutionary; rather, she writes the ordinary well. (Aug.)