Reproduction is the flaw of love / Lauren Grodstein.
Booklist Reviews 2004 June #1
As he stands outside the bathroom door where his girlfriend, Lisa, takes a pregnancy test, 28-year-old Joel Miller considers the relationships he has had in his life so far and what becoming a father would mean to him. He examines his parents' failed marriage; he remembers the crass proclamations about girls that his childhood friend, Grant, used to make; and he recalls his adult relationships with women, most significantly with the emotionally unavailable Blair Carter, whom he was with prior to Lisa. First-novelist Grodstein ably shows how much our parents' relationship affects the kind of partners we one day become, in ways both good and bad. Miller learns to be kind and protective, but he fails to learn when it's better to leave than stay. The novel contains characters who are rich and multidimensional, from Joel's parents through his friend, Grant, who at first seems vulgar and shallow but eventually reveals a loyal and caring side. An insightful study of our search for meaningful connections. ((Reviewed June 1 & 15, 2004)) Copyright 2004 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2004 March #1
Joel hovers around the bathroom door, pondering issues of commitment, as his girlfriend takes a pregnancy test. There's a big push behind this debut novel from the author of the collection The Best of Animals. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
PW Reviews 2004 May #1
Grodstein's first novel (after 2002's collection The Best of Animals) is a sweet, honest account of the life and loves of 20-something Joel Miller. It's a rainy Saturday, and Miller has just been directed to walk the 12 blocks to the independent drug store in Park Slope, Brooklyn, to buy his girlfriend a pregnancy test. The rest of the novel takes place as Miller waits outside the bathroom door for Lisa to reveal the results, all the while pondering past loves and future concerns. There was his father Stan's stiff advice to "Remember the consequences, son" of what he called "the deed"-but here Miller is, living with a long-haired, potentially pregnant third-grade teacher with a broken leg. They are "admirable roommates"; they have regular "brisk, healthy sex." But is it enough? Miller recalls the complicated bonds between his depressed mother, Bay, and his father; he spent his high school years weaving his way through the emotional consequences of his father's departure and his mother's instability. But even more powerfully, Miller recalls his first love, Blair, the Park Avenue beauty whose attentions made him feel like he was "eating chocolate for the first time after a lifetime of bread." But Blair eventually teaches him a wrenching lesson about the truths of love. Grodstein's effortless prose slides forward and back in time, charting universal doubts with both specificity and economy. Her story is modest, but compulsively readable, as her familiar characters-a fumbling father, a sad mother, a confused boy, a fratty best friend and an ice princess-move in paths both inevitable and surprising. Agent, Julie Barer. (July) Forecast: This book is perfect for the kind of rainy Saturday it describes; readers will find it touching, pleasing and easy to devour in a single afternoon. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.