Under the Influence, by Joyce Maynard

Find in catalogThe book jacket sets up the suspense–alcoholic mother befriends richy rich couple, all is good until it isn’t!–but then takes a long time getting there, and then is rushed. So it’s not a thriller. But it’s not exactly a deep look into the psychology of a hanger on, or manipulators, either. So it ends up being a bit of a waste. There are parts where the author pedantically overexplains, and times when big statements are never mentioned again. None of the characters are particularly likeable, not even the “quiet hero” boyfriend who keeps saying how loyal and loving he is. If you have to keep saying it, maybe you aren’t! However, it was at times engrossing, and probably would make a good beach or airplane read.

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