FICTION

Separation Anxiety

Ecco: HarperCollins. Mar. 2020. 288p. ISBN 9780062909077. $26.99. F
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Zigman’s latest (Animal Husbandry; Her) features Judy, a 50-year-old mother going through some serious changes. Her career as a successful children’s book writer has tanked; now she’s writing clickbait for a self-help website. Her parents have recently died, her best friend has terminal cancer, her 13-year-old son is growing up and away from her, and her anxiety-ridden husband has turned to cannabis to an extreme, all of which is debilitating to the marriage. Judy has a twofold approach to her problems; she tucks her Sheltie dog into an old baby carrier and wears the dog everywhere, all while wallowing in self-pity. Anxiety is a serious issue, but here it is treated as comedic fodder, while the dog in the sling will have readers pondering whether it is animal abuse or if they should just accept it as farce.
VERDICT Readers who enjoyed Maria Semple’s far superior Where’d You Go, Bernadette or Linda Holmes’s Evvie Drake Starts Over may enjoy this, but it is not Zigman’s best effort. She is a popular writer, though, so buy for demand only. [See Prepub Alert, 9/16/19.]

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