The Means

Mariner: Houghton Harcourt. Sept. 2022. 256p. ISBN 9780063248717. $27.99. F
DEBUT In Fusselman’s entertaining debut, Shelly Means is a stay-at-home mom, resentful that her job is not considered “real” work. She spends a lot of money but only on discounted products and services. (She even bought their dog on sale.) She’s just too busy to take on a paying job. Fortunately, her husband, George, has a great job, which allows them to live in Manhattan. But Shelly wants a beach house, too, so they buy a piece of property in affluent East Hampton and begin planning an economy-conscious house. Trouble arises when George loses his job and the East Hampton housing committee objects to their proposal, but a host of quirky and hilarious advisors push Shelly to move ahead with her plan.
VERDICT With Shelly, Fusselman creates a character determined to see her vision to completion without regard for impediments of any kind, and the supporting roles (like a therapist who’s also a real estate broker and party planner) will leave readers laughing. Recommended to anyone who enjoys humorous fiction.
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