cover image Hope in a Jar

Hope in a Jar

Beth Harbison, . . St. Martin?s, $24.95 (340pp) ISBN 978-0-312-38196-7

Harbison (Secrets of a Shoe Addict ) pushes a thin plot to its word-count limits in her latest confection, the tale of two former friends who reconnect at their 20th high school reunion. When Allie Denty—tall, blonde and, these days, just a bit heavy—discovers her boyfriend in the sack with another woman, her primary coping mechanism involves a credit card and the Sephora counter. Allie figures that some Dior lashes will help her feel more confident at her reunion—an event that the lovely, formerly mousy Olivia Pelham has no intention of attending until her mother shows up on her doorstep, licking her wounds from a breakup with husband number five. At the reunion, Allie and Olivia have an awkward meeting and go their separate ways until Allie learns that a mutual friend plans to marry a cosmetically enhanced Mean Girl from their class. It’s “life makeover” time for both women, as they get in touch with their true feelings about beauty, careers and, most importantly, love. Like the face cream from which it takes its title, this is slick, light and indulgent. (July)