Monday, July 04, 2011


Trouble, Kate Christensen, Doubleday, 2009, 311 pp

I read this because Kate Christensen has been on my list to check out for quite some time and because I was going to review her newest book, The Astral.

I was underwhelmed at first, feeling like I was reading Anita Shreve, whom I liked when I read her early books but lost interest in after a while. The story in Trouble is about female friendship, a subject usually found in very light "women's" fiction. But the writing was smooth and pulled me along. Josie, a New York City psychotherapist, decides to leave her husband, so she goes to Mexico to hang out with her best friend from college.

The friend is an aged-out rock star, a recovering addict, a woman who once had it all in terms of fame but specializes in bad ideas. They spend their days sightseeing in Mexico City, eating and (starting during the afternoon) drinking way too much into the early morning hours. They spend time with local artists. Josie begins a hot flirtation with one of the painters, intending to catch up on all the sex she wasn't getting from her husband.

Christensen's writing (the characters, the scenes in Mexico, except please-she even does a bullfight), the way she sneaks in a sense of impending doom, are what save the novel. Then the doom arrives, after which Josie goes back to New York. The trouble is, she hasn't changed much. She had her adventure in Mexico, she got her own apartment, she has a better relationship with her teenage daughter, but she is still a self-centered psychotherapist in Manhattan.

I am hoping The Astral is better.

(Trouble is available in paperback by order from Once Upon A Time Bookstore.)

No comments:

Post a Comment