cover image Does This Beach Make Me Look Fat? True Stories and Confessions

Does This Beach Make Me Look Fat? True Stories and Confessions

Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella. St. Martin’s, $21.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-250-05994-9

Scottoline, the prolific and bestselling author of two dozen novels, and her daughter, Serritella (with whom she writes a weekly column for the Philadelphia Inquirer), pile plenty of laughs and a few tears into the latest volume in their humor series. Super-organized single parent Scottoline lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her menagerie of pets, not far from her beloved Mother Mary, her sassy mother, who has a couple of marriages under her own belt. Mother Mary, food (especially Mary’s spaghetti sauce), and close friends get a lot of coverage in Scottoline’s writing. Her daughter, another animal lover, calls New York City home, where she deals with issues that will click with a lot of city dwellers: mice, gym membership gouging, and noisy early morning construction. When 90-something Mother Mary suddenly falls ill with advanced lung cancer, the writing takes on a note of sweetness and poignancy without becoming maudlin or treacly. Unable to talk comfortably in her final weeks, Mary uses a dry erase board to curse up a storm, demand that the family not talk about any end-of-life business, and share some hard-earned wisdom. This breezy, thoughtful book offers funny and lovely family moments that mothers and daughters will savor. [em](July) [/em]