What's Yours Is Mine

Tess Stimson. Bantam, $15 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-553-38612-7
Stimson (Who Loves You Best) fumbles her way through her raunchy, lackluster latest. Grace has the perfect life in the Oxfordshire countryside until her doctor tells her she won't be able to get pregnant, and her husband Tom's minor heart defect prevents them from adopting. Her sister, Susannah, meanwhile, has cobbled together an existence in America that consists of drugs and casual sex, and has just received notice that she will be deported back to England. In one of several convenient medical catastrophes, their mother suffers a stroke and goes into a coma, prompting Grace to bring Susannah home to England immediately. Their mother, in spirit form, pops up intermittently to comment on the sisters' dramas, but this is both inconsistent and irrelevant. Susannah offers to act as surrogate for Grace and Tom, but during her pregnancy, she continues to drink, smoke, and sleep around, and Tom and Grace's marriage suffers. Susannah considers a more staid life, leading to a legal battle over custody of the baby, but another set of medical crises helps resolve any issues, albeit unsatisfactorily. What is not off-putting in this novel (crude sex, under-realized characters) is irritating (neglected plot points, irreconcilable characterization, and lazy resolutions) leading to a wholly unsatisfying novel. (June)
Reviewed on: 03/21/2011
Release date: 06/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 181 pages - 978-0-440-42340-9
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-330-45854-2
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