Set in 1980s Chicago and on the East Coast, this electric debut chronicles the relationship between an impossibly rich chocolate heiress, Babs Ballentyne, and her sensitive and bookish young daughter, Bettina. Babs plays by no one's rules: naked Christmas cards, lavish theme parties with lewd installations at her Lake Shore Drive penthouse, nocturnal visits from her married lover, who "admires her centerfold" while his wife sleeps at their nearby home.
"Very explicit--not for prudish types"
For most of their marriage, Althea has fluctuated between extreme depressive and manic states, and Oliver has been the steady hand that guided her to safety. This summer Althea decides that she will be different from here on. She will be the loving, sexy wife Oliver wants and the reliable, affectionate mother their nine-year-old daughter, Clem, deserves. Her plan: to bring Clem to their Easthampton home once school is out - with no "summer girl" to care for her this time - and become "normal".