Restless In L.A.
Alex Hoffman is a typical mom who stays at home – she spends her time going to PTA meetings, running kids to doctor’s appointments, and keeping a home. Her husband, Jason, is a lawyer involved in a big-time merger of offices who is rarely home, so most of the household and family duties fall on Alex’s shoulders. One day while on Facebook, she decides to search for her ex-boyfriend, Matt, with whom she spent a whirlwind year in London twenty years earlier. Her friend Laurie had warned her about the dangers of connecting with friends from the past where there was a “connection,” but Alex finds her finger pushing the button on its own. Matt responds quickly, and they set up a meeting at his hotel where he is staying while in town on business. She goes to leave but realizes she left her valet ticket. That was her undoing. One graphically intimate encounter turns to three, and she waffles back and forth between needing to stay with her husband and kids and the life they’ve built and wanting to spend it with Matt, the only one who has made her feel alive.
This is a fast page-turner, and the beginning jab at Facebook is a compelling start to a story similar to those by Liane Moriarty or Jen Lancaster. The book considers the struggle between personal happiness and adult responsibility and which is more important. The flashbacks to her experiences with Matt as a younger woman help to explain the personal conflict Alex has with herself, her hesitation to speak to anyone else about it, and the internal fight she expresses on her anonymous blog. Some readers will disagree with Alex’s search for her own happiness, but others will understand the idea of “happy wife, happy life.” This is good chick-lit for a beach read or a book club.