Breakfast at Stephanie's
Sue Margolis
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Breakfast at Stephanie's
Sue Margolis
336 pages
June 2004
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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Struggling singer/actress Stephanie Glassman’s life is nothing to be envied. As the single mother of an adorable but energetic young son, Jake, she’s been man-free for quite some time now. With no prospects in sight, career-wise or love life-wise, all Stephanie has to look forward to are the calorie-laden breakfast fry-ups she does every weekend for her two best friends during which they spill secrets, unburden themselves, give advice, meddle in each other’s lives and generally gossip.

When even her geriatric grandmother begins to have more fun in the sack than she, Stephanie can’t help but feel that she’s hit rock bottom. But that’s when things start to change. A famous actor and former colleague on whom she once had a massive crush suddenly re-enters her staid life and shows surprising interest in her. To complicate matters, Jake’s father, handsome stuntman Albert, also shows up, wanting togetherness and a family. Now with more love than she can handle, men fighting over her, and a fantastic job in the offing, Stephanie’s life is suddenly filled to the brim. Tempted and pulled in all directions, Stephanie has to choose between what’s right and what’s wrong, and on this one decision rests her entire life’s happiness.

Sue Margolis established herself as a leader in the booming trend of "Chick-lit" books with such smash-hits as Apocalipstick and Neurotica. While entertaining and filled to the brim with the usual assortment of engaging characters, Breakfast at Stephanie's doesn’t quite reach the standards set by this author’s previous books. Stephanie feels real; her problems as a single mother and struggling actress convey authenticity. But her propensity for vacillation, her general cluelessness and lack of drive all serve to make her a bit of a drag. The supporting cast is actually more interesting and varied, including a geriatric grandmother who never fails to surprise Stephanie and readers with her various sexual shenanigans, Stephanie’s father who takes his fight against junk email to ridiculous lengths, and many more. But with so many of them, the author never quite gets the time to develop them individually. Margolis succeeds in conveying a real British touch to the unfolding drama, and while the story overall is warm and entertaining, it doesn’t leave much of an impact.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Rashmi Srinivas, 2004

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