Manless in Montclair by Amy Holman Edelman
Free days: 8-10 January
Chick lit/women's fiction/romance
Being short with big boobs means living life off-balance. Isabel knows this all too well; at five feet nothing with a tendency to tip over in heels, she's struggled for twenty-five years to make clothes, careers and boyfriends fit. Enter Michael. Divorced father, recovering alcoholic and fifteen years her senior--he was the last guy she thought would make the cut. But when he proposed over a pastrami sandwich in a NYC deli on the anniversary of their first date, Isabel knew, improbably, that he was the one.
Fifteen mostly happy years and two kids later, Isabel walks into her living room to discover her husband dead on the floor, leaving her a widow at forty-one. At Micheal's funeral, a guest solemnly informs her that the official mourning period for a Jewish widow is thirty days. At the moment, Isabel can't imagine a time when she will stop grieving. Not helping the process is this: as a single mom living in the very married suburbs, for the first time in fifteen years Isabel once again just doesn't fit in.
It takes her four year-old daughter's request for a new daddy to set Isabel on a journey through online dating, shifty matchmakers and painfully orchestrated single dinners. But after endless dates, a torrid affair with an unemployed, passive-aggressive neighbor and a story on page three of the New York Daily News, Isabel begins to realize that another man may not be the answer and, surprisingly, that's when things begin to change for the better...
Amy Holman Edelman lives in New Jersey with her husband, children and Irish Jack Russell, Roxy. She is the also author of The Little Black Dress ('97).
“So what number are you up to now?” my mom asked over dessert at a nearby restaurant. She had stopped for an early dinner after meeting a client in New York and was taking advantage of the few minutes we had alone while the kids were in the bathroom.
“What do you mean ‘what number’?”
“You know…how many men?”
Uh-oh, I thought. “Why do you ask?”
“Well,” she said, leaning in confidentially, “I heard somewhere that dating is really just a numbers game. The twenty-eighth guy you meet,” she said, “will be the one.”
“Really? What about the first twenty-seven?”
“I don’t know. Practice?”
“Hmmm. Do I have to date ’em only once? Or do they only count if they’re a multiple date?”
“Gee,” my mother said thoughtfully, tapping her manicured fingernails on the tablecloth. “I’m not sure.”
“And do I have to sleep with the twenty-seven prior to number twenty-eight? Or just maybe dinner?”
“Well…maybe dinner and a movie.”
“Does coffee count?”