cover image Where the Grass Is Green and the Girls Are Pretty

Where the Grass Is Green and the Girls Are Pretty

Lauren Weisberger. Random House, $28 (368p) ISBN 978-1-984855-56-5

The dispiriting latest from Weisberger (The Devil Wears Prada) is a paint-by-numbers tale of two wealthy sisters’ self-generated problems. While Manhattanite and TV news anchor Peyton Marcus covers a scandal involving parents cheating on college admissions, Peyton’s husband, Isaac, is charged by the FBI for paying a “college fixer” to get their vlogger daughter, Max, into Princeton, having taken the fall for Peyton’s transgression. The school rescinds Max’s acceptance, leaving her with no options for college. Meanwhile, Peyton’s formerly free-spirited sister, Skye, who is now raising an adopted daughter with her bland Australian architect husband in the nearby suburban town of Paradise, has maxed out a secret credit card on an ambitious charity project. After news breaks of Isaac’s arrest, her major donor leaves her twisting in the wind. Peyton and Max, meanwhile, retreat to Paradise, where they adopt chickens, make friends, and adjust their expectations. Along the way, Weisberger gets in some digs at suburban mommy life and its youth-obsessed lifestyle of Botox and “vampire facials,” and regularly name-drops upscale stores and clothing lines, but it’s low hanging fruit and it doesn’t feel like there’s much life in here. The result is not light and fizzy enough to be entertaining, or consequential enough to move readers. Agent: Sloan Harris, ICM Partners. (May)