She is Me
Cathleen Schine
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She is Me
Cathleen Schine
Back Bay Books
288 pages
September 2004
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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This book should be renamed Woe is Me or Woe is She for all the complex, disastrous and messy events in the main character's life.

She is Me has got too much packed into it -- adultery, same-sex marriages, love or the lack of it, the trials and tribulations of being married or being in a relationships and the intricacies of human interactions. Itís a story of three generations of three very strong, confident women. Thereís Greta, a stereotypical California woman who runs a landscaping business. Her mother Lotte, an irascible woman is fighting cancer and Gretaís daughter, Elizabeth, who shows up at her Momís with son, clingy boyfriend and a big deal screenplay offer from a Hollywood bigwig.

While dealing with the central themes of mortality, sexuality and identity, the focal point of the novel is Elizabethís retooling of the Flaubertís classic tale of Madame Bovary, which in turn highlights adultery.

She is Me is a stream of consciousness novel -- the plot progresses from the innermost thoughts of the women. Lotte is a live wire, and there are some intimate scenes between the women that are emotional. But unless you are a serious academic who cares about intellectual debates on adultery and are a fan of Madame Bovary, this book isnít going to do much for you.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Sonia Chopra, 2004

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