Virtually Perfect

Paige Roberts. Kensington, $15 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-4967-1009-3
Roberts’s debut novel is both entertaining and incisive. Thirty-year-old Lizzie Glass feels she’s already a has-been. Her television cooking show, Healthy U, has been cancelled, along with her magazine column. Her only way to make ends meet is to take a summer job as the live-in private chef for millionaires Jim and Kathryn Silvester at their Jersey Shore beach house. As she meets Silvester family members and friends, Lizzie’s life will be most affected by the Silvesters’ 23-year-old daughter, Zoe, who has a successful “clean living” health website and brand. Meanwhile, Lizzie’s mom, Susan, has her own problems that she doesn’t want to burden Lizzie with, but ultimately Susan’s and Zoe’s lives intersect and Lizzie is determined to help. Lizzie’s intelligence and moral compass ground the story, and although she is flawed herself, her self-awareness makes her an inspiring heroine. Readers are treated to ample helpings of snappy dialogue and vivid characters. The book contains plenty of humor, but the ending turns more serious, giving readers some food for thought. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/21/2017
Release date: 09/26/2017
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