I Was Told It Would Get Easier

Berkley. Jun. 2020. 352p. ISBN 9780451491893. pap. $16. F
Fortysomething lawyer and single mom Jessica Burnstein and her teenage daughter, Emily, take breaks from work and school to go on a hosted tour of top-notch East Coast colleges. The trip is ill-timed, though, as they depart on the heels of a major personnel issue at Jessica’s job and a brewing scandal at Emily’s high school. Somewhat predictably, they clash over Emily’s future on the excursion. While Jessica has worked hard over the years to prepare financially for Emily’s college education, Emily doesn’t know if she even wants to go to college, making for some frustrating but reflective moments between them. Best-selling author Waxman (The Bookish Life of Nina Hill) uses the still-popular storytelling method of alternating between the two main characters’ points of view. It works well here; each account is enjoyable reading. While intriguing, Jessica’s work situation and Emily’s school scandal are resolved too easily and neatly. This book’s strengths are the exploration of the mother-teen daughter dynamics and relationship and the author’s remarkable gift for realistic, witty dialog.
VERDICT Recommended for fans of mother-daughter fiction with both lighthearted and serious moments.
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