The Panic Years: A Guide to Surviving Smug Married Friends, Bad Taffeta, and Life on the Wrong Side of 25 Without a Ring

Doree Lewak, Author . Broadway $19.95 (275p) ISBN 978-0-7679-2599-0

Reading lines like “Sure, most couples are ill suited and unhappy, but so the hell what? At least they're married!” it will be tough for enlightened readers of Newsday trend reporter Lewak's handbook not to go on the defensive. Lewak, self-described “Potential Fiancé predator,” tries to convince women over 25 that if they're not feeling alarmed about their unmarried state, they're living in la-la land. Still, the voice throughout is so breezy and fun that readers will cross their fingers that Lewak is kidding. And it seems that she is. She eventually puts aside all the usual and necessary jokes about “smug married friends” and hideous bridal wear, her final lesson apparently that you shouldn't lose yourself in that quest for a fairy tale ending. After chapters on mind games and subterfuge that will help women in their quest for the ring, the book develops a cautionary attitude, warning readers against settling for whatever comes along in their desperation, and asserting that one can be happy as a single, swingin' lady. This is fortunate, because it's hard to hate a book that provides so many laughs. (Mar. 18)

Reviewed on: 12/24/2007
Release date: 03/01/2008
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-7679-2600-3
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 172 pages - 978-0-7679-2778-9
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