FICTION

That’s Not a Thing

SparkPress: BookSparks. Apr. 2020. 352p. ISBN 9781684630301. pap. $16.95. F
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In Friedland’s second novel (after Trouble the Water), the future of her protagonist, Meredith Altman, could hardly look brighter. The Columbia grad and high-caliber junior lawyer is living in Manhattan and engaged to pediatric neurosurgeon Aaron Rapp, who also happens to be a kind and sexy hunk. Meredith is convinced she is over her college boyfriend, Wesley Latner, to whom she had also been engaged until tragedy intervened and split them apart. She hasn’t seen him in years when she unknowingly books a reservation at the hip new restaurant he started in TriBeCa. She’s shocked to see him and even more so by her reaction to him. After he tells her he is gravely ill, things get complicated as Meredith and Aaron try to do the right thing by helping Wesley, and Meredith tries to decide who she truly wants to be and the man she wants to be with.
VERDICT This new adult story with real-life trials, tragedies, and struggles features bromidic characters who don’t derail a complex plot. Fans of Jojo Moyes and Jennifer Weiner should enjoy.

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