Book Review

‘Suzanne Davis Gets a Life’ by Paula Marantz Cohen

sgal pmcSTORY: Suzanne Davis lounges around her tiny New York City apartment in her pajamas, writing press releases for the International Association of Air-Conditioning Engineers, listening to the ticking of her biological clock, and wondering where life is taking her. As her 35th birthday looms, Suzanne embarks on a wrong-headed, but very funny, quest—to find Mr. Right and start the family she hopes will give meaning to her life.

Her quest plunges us into the world of her Upper West Side apartment building, a world of overly invested mothers, fanatical dog-owners, curmudgeonly longtime residents, and young (and not so young) professionals. All are keenly observed by Suzanne, whose witty self-deprecation endears her to us even as it makes us want to shake some sense into her.

Light in its tone but incisive in its social satire, Suzanne Davis Gets a Life balances its wit with true concern for its protagonist. We can’t help but wish Suzanne success in “getting a life.” But can such a search possibly yield the meaning she craves? When her extremely annoying mother arrives on the scene, it appears that her plan has been hijacked. But serious illness opens her to new people and a new perspective. She ends by getting a life—even as she may lose one.

REVIEW: Suzanne is a 31…OK…34-year-old single woman living in a tiny apartment in New York City. Her job is as a technical writer for an air-conditioning company. With her biological clock ticking away, she has yet to find the perfect man. As she works mostly from home, her every day life is pretty predictable. However, she is determined to step up her search for a husband and decides to start by spending time on the apartment’s playground observing the mothers as they interact with their children on a daily basis. She slowly gets to know some of them which gets her introduced to several men and involved with a book group. A couple of the men she meets aren’t too bad but neither are they the greatest.

Suzanne has a mother who has driven her crazy all of her life resulting in her now amassing large fees from her shrink. Thank goodness her mother lives in Arizona.

The story takes us through some of the dates Suzanne has with men and the resulting sexual encounters. In addition, she introduces readers to the characters in her apartment building that will leave the reader laughing.

Life continues on this flat line way until Suzanne is diagnosed with breast cancer. What follows is an account of her reaction to her illness and her treatment.

The novel has a number of laugh out loud moments. The biggest thing that struck me was that I could just hear Woody Allen telling this story. It was perfectly written for him to narrate it.

While I enjoyed some of the humorous moments and goofy characters, I found that the book became a bit monotonous after awhile. However, I’m sure many readers will like the comedy.

Connie for b2b


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