Thursday, May 19, 2011

Marrying Money

Tonight I finished re-reading the book for next month's book club meeting: Marrying Mom by Olivia Goldsmith.

Goldsmith was probably most famous as the author of The First Wives ClubMarrying Mom is one of her shorter and lighter books; it doesn't have the depth of The First Wives Club or the tangled melodrama of Flavor of the Month, but if you're looking for a quick, funny novel to read at the beach, this would be a good choice.

Ira and Phyllis Geronomous retired to Florida after a lifetime in New York.  Now Ira is dead, and Phyllis wants to move back to New York and give her three children the time and attention she was never able to while they were growing up.  Her family is horrified by the news.  Sigourney (nee Susan), the oldest, is a formerly successful stockbroker whose clients are melting away; Bruce, the gay youngest child, sees his Queer Santa line of greeting cards circling the drain; and Sharon, the middle one, has a laid-off husband and no job prospects herself.  None of them wants Mom meddling with the situation.  The only way they can see to get her off their backs is to marry her off as quickly as possible, preferably to someone with a lot of money.  Thus begins Operation Geezer Quest.

Yes, some of the characters in this book are shallow and obnoxious.  Yes, some of the humor is a stretch (Phyllis's maiden name is "Phyllis Steen").  On the whole, though, I thought Marrying Mom was great fun, especially since I might very well have borrowed the plot had my father died 10 years ago.

Sigourney: "This is the end of the world as we know it, Bruce. How can we stop her?"
Bruce: "Hmmm. How about plastic explosives in the cargo bay? We'd take down a lot of innocent lives, but we could know it was a small price to pay."
~Olivia Goldsmith, Marrying Mom

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