cover image Friends for Life

Friends for Life

Meg Wolitzer. Crown Publishers, $20 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-517-59586-2

A sitcom already bought for the big screen by Nora Ephron, Wolitzer's ( This Is Your Life ) novel about three young women on the make in New York City has some clever moments, but its foolish premise scuttles credibility. Friends since elementary school in the suburbs, Meredith Guzzi, Lisa Vopilska and Ann Rogoff are now living in Manhattan, where they meet for dinner at a Chinese restaurant every month. Ann, who went to Yale and has a low-paying job in a publishing house, and Meredith, a knock-out-gorgeous public TV commentator, hate each other and always have. Medical student Lisa is the buffer and mediator who keeps the group together. In the course of the episodic narrative, Lisa marries a dermatologist and has a baby, Meredith breaks up with her vain, famous, married lover but finally finds a Mr. Right as beautiful as she is, and Ann discovers that she is a lesbian. These events are accomplished with some snappy dialogue and nicely captured trendy detail: a visit to a condom boutique; the perils of making love in a loft bed; the craze for work-out machines. But the women in this sisterhood are shallow, silly and superficial, given to such pronouncements as ``Marriage is a curtain that drops down between you and your friends. It separates you forever.'' (Mar.)