Synopses & Reviews
Acclaimed for her memoirs (Sleeping Arrangements and A Place in the Country), which read like fiction, Laura Shaine Cunningham has now written a novel that rings with truth.
You're invited to a party...
Six "best friends" gather in a downtown loft on the coldest night of the year, as the "storm of the century" is about to descend on Manhattan. The women are celebrating the decision of the mysterious Claire to have a baby, on her own, at thirty-six. The delight is in the details: the hostess too distracted by her new love affair (How could she have forgotten sex? It had been three years, her longest intermission, but still...) to focus on the food, the guests who arrive "in crisis." From the moment Jessie's cell phone chimes in her purse (the voice of materialism, speaking up for itself?), she suffers "hostess regret": Oh, why did she plan a dinner in her apartment?
As the Aussie red wine flows, a delirious debate wages over Claire's choice. Will Martha, the Realtor of the Year flying blind on automatic PalmPilot, ruin the evening by declaring, "A celebration? This should be an intervention. Her phone bill is more than her income!" Who will win, the pragmatists or the romantics? Will Sue Carol, the wacktress (hybrid of waitress and actress), return to her husband or "rebuild" her career? Did Lisbeth, the delicate Zoloft model, truly see her lost lover in the subway? Will Nina spill the secret of her sexual tangent? Can this six-way friendship survive the zingers and soul-baring truths that spark and bolt across the table?
Proving that a novel can be effervescent yet deeply serious, Cunningham's circle of female friendship radiates the warmth and intimacy her endearing heroines wish to rekindle. Beautiful Bodies is a deftly composed take on the "first generation that refused to give up sneakers."
About the Author
Laura Shaine Cunningham is an award-winning journalist and playwright as well as the author of five books. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, Harper's Bazaar, Allure, Vogue, and many other publications. She was born and raised in New York City.
Table of Contents
- Raw Space
- "Please Stand Clear of the Moving Platform"
- "Desire at the End of the Line"
- Reproductive Value
- Sleeping Beauty on Seventeenth Street
- Crudits -- a Duet
- The Limo Lane: "Please Yield..."
- The Witching Hour
- The Guest of Honor
- "You look beautiful."
- Dinner Is Served
- "Ask not for whom the cell phone tolls..."
- Just Desserts
- "Holding Her Own"
- The Walpurgisnacht
- Let the Circle Be Unbroken