I'm a huge Olivia Goldsmith fan. I reread _First_Wives_Club_ from time to time, and I adore _Bestseller_. I even keep copies of her lesser works around, on the theory that there will be another long winter night when I need some high-quality mind-candy to keep me company in front of the fire. This book, however, went to the used bookstore as soon as I finished it. And even finishing it was a struggle.
What's wrong with this book? A better question would be what's right about this book, and the answer to that is "not much". Basically, the writing style is fluent and the first 70 pages are enjoyable. My specific quibbles with the book are:
-- shoddy research: you cannot fly from Tacoma to Seattle, since the Seattle-Tacoma International airport serves Seattle AND Tacoma
-- more shoddy research: people in Seattle talk about locations in it by neighborhood name, not by intersection
-- more shoddy research: the Mother's Day journey Jon undertakes is almost certainly not possible on a bicycle
-- more shoddy research: Jon's experience at a high tech powerhouse is unlike anyone's experience at any high tech powerhouse I have ever worked at, heard about from employees, or can imagine
-- still more shoddy research: what kind of newspaper reporter gets to work regular hours, let alone never be at work? what kind of full-time newspaper writer produces only four or five fluff pieces in a several-month period?
(All this shoddy research makes me wonder why she bothered to set a book in a location and setting she knew nothing about.)
More things that are wrong with this book:
-- stupid plotlines, unresolved issues and weird digressions
-- unlikable, unbelievable, unrealistic characters
-- a foreshortened ending, which was entirely unsatisfying and unbelievable
(All of which makes me wonder why she wrote it so fast, so short, and so poorly.)
I'm sorry I bothered to finish the book. I only did so because I just couldn't bring myself to believe that Olivia Goldsmith could write such a bad book. But she could, and she did. I will be buying her next book in paperback. I hope it's better than this one.