American Housewife

3 CDs. 3:46 hrs. Books on Tape. 2016. ISBN 9780735209527. $35. digital download. F
OrangeReviewStarEllis's (What Curiosity Kills) darkly funny collection is a box of bonbons laced with absinthe. Many of the stories feature books to some degree—deep knowledge of commercial fiction helps a character succeed on the reality show Dumpster Diving with the Stars; corporations sponsor novels (and those authors who lightly skim their contracts may be unpleasantly surprised by the consequences for missed deadlines); and a very intense book club has unusual expectations for new members—while others skewer such topics as bra fitting, escalating disputes with neighbors, and parsing the difference between what Southern ladies say and what they mean. Kathleen McInerney, Rebecca Lowman, Lisa Cordileone, and Dorothy Dillingham Blue provide appropriately sweet readings with real bite underneath.
VERDICT Recommended for fans of quirky humor. ["The hilarity of each premise will pull in readers, and the twists will keep them glued to the pages": LJ 12/15 starred review of the Doubleday hc.]
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