Why Moms Are Weird

Pamela Ribon, Author Downtown Press $19.99 (285p) ISBN 978-1-4165-0385-9

Twenty-seven-year-old Benny Bernstein struggles with her weight, her insecurities and a sinkhole of family love and dysfunction in Ribon's compassionate follow-up to her debut, Why Girls Are Weird. Three years after her father's death, Benny has shed 50 pounds, built a life for herself in Los Angeles and just begun what might be her first successful relationship with hipster Mickey. But a distraught phone call from her mother, who lost her job and broke her leg in a car accident, brings Benny home to Virginia, since her younger sister, Jami, still living at home, can't be relied on. Back east, Benny discovers her mother's house has become an animal shelter, and she has three secret boyfriends and a red-hot sex life at age 53. As if that weren't overwhelming enough, Jami is dating an abusive ex-con. Benny hires a hot handyman to help clean up the house and finds herself enjoying his teases and flirtations while missing Mickey. Between her mother's eccentricities, her sister's stubbornness and her own self-doubt and confusing love life, Benny isn't sure she'll ever be able to return to L.A. Chick lit fans will identify with this kind, imperfect heroine.