by Susan Coll
Category: Fiction / General
0 pages; ISBN: 074324477X
Rating: 10/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Simon & Schuster, Jan 2005, $23.00, 319 pp.
In the DC vicinity Jane Kramer worries that she is flunking at Life 101 as nothing she does brings her any degree of satisfaction let alone happiness. She has no one she is close to including her husband Leon. Because money is tight, she works at the family store, Kramer's Discount Furniture Store, along side of her husband and his Uncle Seymour. The school has suspended their teenage Goth son Justin. Finally she believes that Leon is having an affair with furniture saleswoman Delia.
Jane refuses to eat lunch at the store; instead she seeks solace in a graveyard where F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife are buried. Jane turns to the Fitzgerald novels and Memories Inc., a business run out of people’s homes for some solace. When Justin flees to New York without informing his parents and Leon leaves on a business trip with Delia, Jane follows in their wake, but has her own escapades to contend with.
This is a solid character study told in the first person by Jane, who questions why she lives. The story line is intriguing as Jane struggles with the realization that no one cares whether she lives or dies beyond costs of a burial. Though the ending seems to simple for the centerfold of inferiority complexes, readers will appreciate this strong look at a woman in trouble with no one she believes she can turn to while she goes deeper into crisis.
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