cover image Man Camp

Man Camp

Adrienne Brodeur, ,. Random, $21.95 (212pp) ISBN 978-1-4000-6214-0

In Zoetrope founding editor Brodeur's wry, breezy debut novel, two 30-something Manhattan sophisticates decide that metrosexuals need to recover their alpha-male instinct and take it upon themselves to show them how. Lucy, a biologist and author of Sexual Selection: What Humans Can Learn from Animals , and her best friend, Martha, an actress, believe that the Manhattan man has no idea how to woo a woman and peg this deficiency to the theory that urbanity has stripped him of his essential maleness. While Lucy grows frustrated with her devoted but insecure boyfriend, Adam, Martha starts a service called FirstDate that gives men a chance to have their dating skills critiqued. But the two decide that the hapless fools need far more than just one date to become gentlemen. So Lucy's manly-man friend (and Martha's ultimate love interest) Cooper offers the pair use of his dairy farm as a training grounds for Man Camp, where they'll offer lessons in everything from "confidence to carpentry to chivalry" in an effort to rehabilitate men for long-term relationships. There, in a neat conclusion to this cleanly written, brainy chick-lit tale, the women learn they can't necessarily apply sociobiology to human romance. Agent, Heather Schroder. (July)