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Trouble : a novel /

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Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Doubleday, 2009
Edition: First edition.
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A vibrant story of female friendship and midlife sexual awakening from the acclaimed author of The Great Man. Josie is a Manhattan psychotherapist living a comfortable life with her husband and daughter - until, while suddenly flirting with a man at a party, she is struck with the sudden realization that she must leave her passionless marriage. A thrillingly sordid encounter with a stranger she meets at a bar immediately follows. At the same time, her college friend Raquel, a Los Angeles rock star, is being pilloried in the press for sleeping with a much younger man who happens to have a pregnant girlfriend. This proves to be red meat to the gossip hounds of the Internet. The two friends escape to Mexico City for a Christmas holiday of retreat and rediscovery of their essential selves. Sex has gotten these two bright, complicated women into interesting trouble, and the story of their struggles to get out of that trouble is totally gripping at every turn. A tragicomedy of marriage and friendship, Trouble is a funny, piercing, and moving examination of the battle between the need for connection and the quest for freedom that every modern woman must fight.

Review by Booklist Review

At the start, this feels like a stylishly sexy, midlife-upheaval novel featuring upscale New Yorkers--a spa treatment for the mind. Not so fast. This is mordant and sly Christensen, author of the PEN/Faulkner Award-winning The Great Man (2007). And, sure enough, her new novel metamorphoses into a scouring tale of psychological paradox. Josie, a 45-year-old therapist, is struck, as though with a god's lightning bolt, by the realization that her marriage is over. At the same time, her longtime friend, rock star Raquel, is being shredded for her affair with a much younger actor, and the worst of her tormentors is a famously vicious gossip blogger. As Christensen keenly assesses the particular damage wrought by cyber slander, Raquel flees to Mexico City, and Josie joins her there, thrilled to be piloted through the metropolis' high life on a river of tequila. As Josie reawakens to life's pleasures, Raquel shuts down. What sort of shrink is Josie? She seems clueless about people's feelings. Bewitching readers with a narcotic blend of eroticism and suspense, Christensen raises unsettling questions about our inability to understand ourselves or others and marvels over our consuming fascination with ritualized confrontation, whether it's the voraciousness of the paparazzi or the ancient drama of the bullfight.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2009 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Christensen follows The Great Man with this slightly lesser work, a coming-of-middle-age novel that explores the sexual lives of three women in their 40s. Best friends since their college days, trust-funder Indrani, therapist Josie and L.A. rocker Raquel are like three very different but close sisters. After flirting with a man at a New York party, Josie realizes that she is sexually starving and decides to leave her husband, though Indrani thinks it's a terrible move. Meanwhile, on the left coast, the nearly washed-up ex-junkie Raquel becomes embroiled in a scandal when she's smeared as the other woman to a young actor with a pregnant girlfriend. Raquel hightails it to Mexico City and begs a less than-reluctant Josie to join her. From here the novel takes a predictable route as the women drink their way across the city, Raquel spirals further out of control, and Josie's inner vixen is awakened. The novel loses some of its mojo in the location change-Mexico City seems just out of focus-but the characters are marvelously realized, and when Christensen's on a roll, her wit is irresistible. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

Christensen follows up the award-winning The Great Man with this tale of girlfriends on a wild adventure. Manhattan psychotherapist Josie realizes that she must step out of her staid, platonic marriage. The same week Josie tells her husband that she's leaving, her famous rock musician girlfriend, Raquel, gets caught in a scandal. The two flee to Mexico, where Josie, after so many years of being a good wife and a mother to a difficult teenage daughter, really lets loose, drinking and smoking to no end. She also meets Felipe, a beguiling artist, and experiences a sexual reawakening. But it's not a perfect holiday; Raquel, a recovering drug addict, starts a steep descent into her old habits. Though Josie tries her hardest to help her oldest friend, tragedy is in the air. Christensen's sparse, clean writing style captures the scintillating Mexican night life, and one can almost taste the greasy street tacos and mescal. The compelling plot will keep readers turning pages, even as clouds of tension and despair drift ever closer. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 2/1/09.]-Beth Gibbs, Davidson, NC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kate Christensen lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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