cover image Younger


Pamela Redmond Satran, . . Downtown, $13 (284pp) ISBN 978-1-4165-0558-7

Last year was 44-year-old Alice's annus horribilis : her mother died, her dentist husband ran off with his hygienist, and her only daughter packed herself off to Africa with the Peace Corps. The one good loss was all the weight she'd packed on in two decades as a New Jersey housewife. Now newly buff, her hair dyed blond courtesy of her artist friend Maggie, Alice can pass for a 29-year-old. And so she does, embarking on a kind of life swap with her younger self—landing a job in the publishing company she left to become a full-time mom and leaping into a torrid affair with a gorgeous, decent 20-something. Talented Satran (Babes in Captivity ) crafts Alice's adventures into a funny, touching, instructive guide for the bewildered. Practically everything—from fashions in pubic hair to telephone technology—has changed since Alice was a single career girl, but a lot remains the same: the office bitch still steals underlings' ideas, and people still desire the contradictory poles of truth and illusion. Satran weaves a sparkly thread of fantasy through her solid social realism, writing precisely what Alice tells her boss readers want: "a book that's going to keep them awake beyond half a page at the end of a long involved day." Agent, Deborah Scheider . (July)