cover image Soulmates


Jessica Grose. Morrow, $25.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-06-239157-5

The disappointing second novel by the author of Sad Desk Salad starts off as a sharp, well-populated satire and then devolves into a horror tale bogged down with unlikely coincidences. Spunky attorney Dana is finally on the brink of recovering from her husband, Ethan, leaving her for fellow yoga enthusiast Amaya five years before. She’s horrified to see Ethan and Amaya’s pictures on the front of the New York Post under the headline “Nama-Slay: Yoga Couple Found Dead in New Mexico Cave.” At the request of a sheriff on the scene, she heads down to the Zuni Retreat where they taught in hopes of discovering what really happened and uncovering the secrets of the retreat’s leader, the darkly mysterious Lama Yoni. Her encounters there give Grose the opportunity for some pointed if good-natured observations on aging hippies and “lululemonites.” But once Dana discovers a perhaps too conveniently placed booklet by Ethan about his initiation into the secret levels of Lama Yoni’s cult, the tone of the novel shifts precipitously from lighthearted fun to murky drama, and the plot twists in ways that wouldn’t be out of place in a soap opera. Even more wrenching is the personality transplant that Dana undergoes in service of the plot. (Sept.)