Synopses & Reviews
Toddlers, Julia remembered hearing someone say, were like big tyrants of tiny countries. Demanding, insatiably needy, and all ego and id, her son was still by far the best boss she's ever had.
Julia Einstein knew that being a stay-at-home mom had a lot in common with her former job as a celebrity publicist endless, irrational demands, little to no appreciation, and constant hustle. But it isn't until her husband is laid off from his job and she's forced to go back to work and resurrect screen legend Mary Ford's career, that Julia realizes how very much she prefers an actual child to a formerly famous client.
For example, her child doesn't steal ten-thousand dollar leather coats from photo shoots. Nor does he require a constant, fresh supply of a soda that is no longer in production. He doesn't curse at Julia, pronounce her name "Einstein" with a thick layer of disdainful irony, or incessantly poke at her with his index finger while reciting odd variations on childlike rhymes like a psych patient on day pass. With a mortgage looming and three years out of the business, however, Julia knows she has no choice but to make Mary's comeback a success. Even if it kills her.
Which at this pace, is a possibility. But if there is one thing Julia has learned from her time off from the office, it's that sheer determination can solve almost anything. After all, if she can get through suburban living with its uncontrollable clutter and playground politics, how hard can it be to resuscitate the career of an aging, desperate hasbeen? And get over the fact that her husband is a better stay-at-home mom than Julia ever was?
"Zigman (Animal Husbandry) visits the popular chick lit landscape of Manhattan public relations, but with a less glamorous twist. The publicist is 36-year-old Julia Einstein, a Connecticut housewife who has been relishing her life as a stay-at-home mom to toddler son Leo. When her husband, Peter, loses his job, Julia is thrust back into the world she left behind. After calling on a savvy and successful friend for advice, Julia ends up at John Glom Public Relations, a 'firm that handles desperate has-beens,' where she must work with actress Mary Ford, billed as a 'client, paying for the right to suck the life out of us.' That Julia finds an antidote for Mary's dwindling fame is predictable, but the process generates its share of chuckles. Ford is ceaselessly cruel, but her vulnerability flickers tellingly beneath her veneer of icy disgust. Julia's portrait of motherhood is overly sentimental, and her references to Leo as 'The Scoob' are doggedly cute. Julia's swift handling of potential PR disasters make for an amusing read, and the ending is just as happy as can be. (Sept. 25)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Vulnerable yet persistent, Zigman's plucky heroine succeeds through an engaging combination of warmth, wit, and wisdom." Booklist
"This is a humorous and well-written look at what happens when the girl with the great single life gets the hot guy and becomes a mom." Library Journal
From the bestselling author of Animal Husbandry comes a touching and hilarious novel about a stay-at-home mom reentering the working world as a celebrity publicist with the client from hell.
Julia Einstein never wanted to return to her high-stress job of celebrity publicist. But when her husband loses his job, she has no choice but to reenter the world of monstrous egos, imperfect illusions, and 24-hour spin--a world she thought she had left behind forever when she had a baby three years ago and moved to the suburbs.
Stranded now at a third-rate publicity firm in New York City that specializes in resuscitating the careers of "Has Beens," Julia's first assignment is to promote the launch of a perfume: a scent created to engineer the comeback of 73-year-old former screen goddess Mary Ford.
In the unpredictable Mary, Julia gets much more than she bargained for. And when she is forced to go on the road with the former diva to promote her failing product, Julia finds herself tested to the very brink of human endurance by: her mercurial, abusive charge; her pompous and infinitely devious boss; by keen bouts of homesickness; by angry PETA activists; and by PR disasters and a perfume that, well, stinks.
For every woman who has ever confronted the hard choices of work and family, and lived to tell the tale, and for every woman who has overcome seemingly insurmountable odds (not to mention losing those last 10 pounds!), this is a novel as touching and hilarious as they come. Brimming with comic moments, sharply witty observations and unexpected poignancy, this is vintage Zigman at her very best.
About the Author
Laura Zigman is the author of Animal Husbandry, Dating Big Bird, and Her. She spent ten years working in book publishing in New York. Her pieces have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, and USA Today. She lives outside of Boston.