George and Lizzie

Touchstone. Sept. 2017. 288p. ISBN 9781501162893. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781501162916. F
Lizzie grew up with a mother and father who were academics and had little interest in parenting their daughter. Perhaps as a result of a lack of adult guidance and influence, she engaged in self-destructive behavior as a high school senior, which she later regretted. George grew up with attentive parents and was part of a loving family in which he enthusiastically participated. When George and Lizzie meet as students at the University of Michigan, George falls for Lizzie, and Lizzie—who can't stop pining for her ex-boyfriend—halfheartedly goes along with the relationship. In the pre-Internet era, in which the novel is set, Lizzie spends an inordinate amount of time searching for her lost love in phone books wherever she could find them. This behavior essentially keeps her from being fully present with George as their relationship grows increasingly serious, and it becomes more possible that he will discover her obsession.
VERDICT With eccentric characters, relationship drama, and a vivid sense of place, this Anne Tyler-esque debut novel is sure to interest and please Pearl's many fans. [See Prepub Alert, 3/27/17.]
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