Lively and funny. . . . Her is as addicting as Zigman's previous work. . . Sharp, hilarious.
The heroine of Zigman's third novel (Dating Big Bird, Animal Husbandry) is thirty-four-year-old Elise. Fleeing New York after quitting her job at an adolescent girls' magazine, Elise lands in Washington, D.C., and she meets and falls in love with Donald. As the couple's April wedding date approaches, so does Adrienne, Donald's ex-fiancée. An Ivy League graduate and incomparable beauty, she insinuates herself back into Donald's life by claiming joint custody of the dog she once shared with Donald. She wins over Elise's quirky, loyal girlfriends. She even arranges for a French designer to make Elise's wedding gown, saving her from looking like "some off-the-rack Vera Wang loser." Tired of these manipulations, Elise begins conducting surveillance on Adrienne, hoping to reclaim her manand her life. Zigman's latest contribution to the "single girl" genre of fiction is filled with funny repartee among hip characters who know their way around designer clothing shops. Zigman's fans will enjoy this entertaining, fast-paced book.
Zigman's third novel, a wild tale of a woman's "transformation... from bride-to-be to madwoman" is for anyone who's ever felt prewedding jitters and the pangs of obsessive jealousy. Having left her job at a teen magazine in New York City to pursue a quieter life in Washington, D.C., Zigman's narrator, Elise, meets her perfect guy Donald, a reformed bond trader now teaching English at Sidwell Friends on the Delta shuttle. Or her almost perfect guy. Donald's one fault is that he was engaged to Adrienne, and her name crops up in just about every conversation. Though Donald and Elise swiftly fall in love and begin planning their wedding, Elise cannot help obsessing over the brilliant and "horrifyingly gorgeous" former fianc e. But like the paranoiac who is being followed, Elise may have good reason to be jealous. Only months before the wedding, Adrienne takes a job in Washington, D.C., and reinserts herself into Donald's life, fueling Elise's jealousy as well as a slapstick plot having to do with Donald's dog, Elise's wedding dress and liposuction. Zigman is better at caricature than characterization, and her emphatic, read-aloud style sometimes falls flat on the page. Yet some scenes when Donald meets Elise, for instance are fresh and smart and almost perfect, as are many of her one-liners. (May) Forecast: Zigman's Animal Husbandry was made into the movie Someone Like You (starring Ashley Judd), and Her, which smacks of My Best Friend's Wedding and other zany takes on upcoming nuptials, is begging to be sent to Hollywood, too. Zigman who's as zippy with the one-liners in conversation as she is in writing will plug her book on NPR and Today, and these appearances, plus certain attention in women's magazines, will win her new fans. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
This slim profile-cum-cautionary tale of an obsessed, driven woman brings Fran oise Sagan's Bonjour, Tristesse to mind, though it's less downbeat. Popular author Zigman (e.g., Animal Husbandry) tells the story of Elise, whose relationship with fianc Donald is put to the test when his aggressive, drop-dead-gorgeous ex-fianc e, Adrienne, decides to relocate to Washington, DC, and looks him up. Immature Donald's not much of a prize he's obsessive to the point of absurdity on the subject of his weight and prone to dropping his trousers when upset. The question for readers, then, is whether they want to read a story, however well written, about annoying, even mean-spirited people. Zigman dissects paranoia and single-Jewish-woman angst perfectly and no doubt will connect with a number of readers, but the tale's attempts at humor are forced and the ending contrived. The moral of this story is that smart women are often dim, and perhaps that's just not quite enough. Recommended for public libraries where there's a demand for women's fiction. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/02.] Jo Manning, Barry Univ., Miami Shores, FL Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
A slim, slight, mean-spirited tale of a woman's obsession with her fiance's ex-fiancee, from the author of Dating Big Bird (2000), etc. This might have made an entertaining or even enlightening subplot in a novel with a larger vision, but the limited scope and shallow characterizations will leave readers feeling unsatisfied, and maybe cheated. Elise and Donald, both New York City transplants to Washington, D.C., meet on the shuttle. Donald has left a Wall Street career for a more satisfying life as a teacher; Elise has left a job editing Sassy magazine to become a freelance editor of self-help books while returning to school to become a teacher. A year later, when the two are living together and planning their wedding, Adrienne, Donald's supersophisticated, superhumanly gorgeous ex announces that she's moving to D.C. Elise, who notes that Donald mentioned Adrienne on their first date and has regularly talked about her since, decides that Adrienne wants Donald back. Enlisting her two friends-Fran, the cynical one; and Gayle, the innocent one-in her battle, she proceeds to behave abominably, going through Donald's dresser drawers, listening to his voice mail, stalking Adrienne. Too ugly to be funny, too thick with failed wisecracks to take seriously, the story fails to deliver on any level. The characters are so thinly drawn-Fran is insulting and smokes cigarettes; Gayle likes to eat; and Donald, the object of contention, is little more than there except for his habit of dropping his pants and getting on all fours when happy or angry, behavior that remains unexplained and unexplored. It, like so much else, is so readily sacrificed to yet another cliched laugh-line (New York has better foodthan Washington! Men like large breasts! Jews are pessimistic! Gayle wants to eat again!) that even the mandatory personal-growth denouement (" . . . what happens will happen whether I am watching or not") comes only by means of assertion, not drama. Nothing new, and the recycling is graceless. Book-of-the-Month Club/Quality Paperback Book Club/Literary Guild alternate selection
“Delightfully frothy. . . . It’s a fun ride.” —Chicago Tribune
“[Zigman] has produced another book of the moment. . . . A fun read.” —New York Daily News
“This is one rampaging hoot of a book, likely to strike a resounding chord. . . . The fun here is in the details.” —The Seattle Times
“Her is as addicting as Zigman’s previous work. . . Sharp, hilarious.” —Bookpage
“A howl. . . . As scary as it is funny.” —USA Today