cover image City Mouse

City Mouse

Stacey Lender. Akashic/Jones, $15.95 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-61775-525-5

Lender’s debut novel tells the story of a young family on the brink of change. Unable to find the space they need for the right price in New York City, Aaron finally convinces his wife, Jessica, to move out to the suburbs with their two young daughters. A working mom in love with her job and the big city, Jessica takes some convincing. But when they move, the Victorian house and the new neighbors are just the change Jessica needed. Their shiny new home and vibrant friends, however, quickly begin to lose their luster. Commuting is the nightmare Jessica imagined, and she misses the walks around the city and easy dining options. She also struggles to keep up with her new friends, who are mostly stay-at-home moms, free to organize school and charity events. Although desperate to fit in and make this new life work, Jessica can’t get over her disgust for her new friends’ grade-school-level cattiness and excessive partying. When eventually invited to a beach trip with the neighborhood moms, Jessica jumps at the chance to get away, relax, and really get to know her new friends. But her weekend away uncovers a host of secrets and scandals that make her question her family’s move even more. Lender’s enlightening, beautifully plotted novel dives deep into the notion of having it all while playing with the shallow notions of the American dream. (June)