The Pretty One

Lucinda Rosenfeld, Author
Lucinda Rosenfeld. Little, Brown, $24.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-316-21355-4
Reviewed on: 11/05/2012
Release date: 02/05/2013
While the title of Rosenfeld's latest would have you believe that this story revolves around Pia, the prettiest Hellinger daughter, the real focus is the incessant drama that drives a wedge between three sisters. All in their late 30s, the sisters continually bicker and attempt to one-up each other: middle child Pia is irked that Perri, the eldest with control issues and CEO of a home organization company, and Gus, a terrible gossip, found success in their respective fields while her own art career has floundered. Perri, a workaholic mother of three, lacks sympathy for Pia's single motherhood; she and Gus speculate about the identity of their niece Lola's father, while Pia still finds herself smarting over an ill-fated relationship with a married man. As Perri becomes increasingly shrewlike, she bristles at her unemployed husband's poor homemaking skills. Meanwhile, Gus's lover leaves her and, perplexingly, she finds herself pining for a man. The situation implodes when Gus spills the secret of Perri's impulsive blunder, and though a whopper of an event brings the sisters together, the book winds down to an unsatisfying nonending. Despite some occasionally stiff writing, Rosenfeld (I'm So Happy for You) does do a stellar job of developing each personality, and the characters remain true to their nature throughout. Agent: Maria Massie, Lippincott Massie McQuilkin. (Feb.)
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!