Pamela Redmond Satran
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Buy *Suburbanistas* by Pamela Redmond Satran online

Pamela Redmond Satran
Downtown Press
352 pages
March 2006
rated 3 1/2 of 5 possible stars
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Stella Powers couldnít wait to shake the dust from her feet in the small town of Homewood, New Jersey, and achieve her dreams in Hollywood. She did reach her goal, and life has brought the fame and fortune she always wanted. On her way to her newest movie location, Stella and her young daughter, Idaho, stop by Homewood to visit with Stellaís mother. Stella is newly married to a rock star she met only a short time before, and her mom isnít terribly approving of the life Stellaís leading or the way she is bringing up her daughter. Why couldnít she have turned out more like Mary Jean, Stellaís former best friend, who married Stellaís high school boyfriend and now has a stable home life with four kids? Before Stella has a chance to resolve the issue, her mother dies and leaves Stella reeling with grief and remorse.

Mary Jeanís life is full of problems of its own. Their small-town haven is now becoming posh and high-priced. When their landlord decides to level their home, where can Mary Jean and her police officer husband go? Stellaís movie career, marriage, and life seem to be crashing in around her, and the two women finally reconnect. Can they help each other in their times of need?

Suburbanistas is an interesting book, nothing like I was imagining it would be. I thought it would be about suburban women, but itís really about coming home again and meeting up with a friend who never left. Can those two worlds be reconciled? For all of Stellaís worldly experience, she is definitely naÔve when it comes to relationships. Itís a little difficult to believe she could keep falling for loser after loser, but in the end she does seem to learn something about her choices. Mary Jeanís self-deprecation also grates on the nerves a bit, but she too learns some life lessons throughout the course of the novel.

This isnít really ďmom-litĒ and isnít truly ďchick litĒ either, but more of a mix of the two. The plot is engaging and moves forward at a steady pace. Itís a fairly easy read but does deliver some in-depth thoughtful moments. I would have liked to have seen the other mothers have more prominent roles in the story; they all seemed to have different characteristics that could have lent more dimension to the tale. But unfortunately they are mentioned a few times and left out of the main plot. Overall, Suburbanistas is an entertaining read with some food for thought about reconnecting with old friends and making peace with the past.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Melissa Parcel, 2006

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