Alix Strauss uses the Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan, NY, as the background for her novel Based Upon Availability. She has created fascinating female characters whose lives intersect against the backdrop of the hotel. Each woman has her own particular set of woes through which she is struggling, and I found I could identify with each one even if her life isn’t necessarily indicative of my own:
- Morgan is the manager of the Four Seasons, mourning the death of her sister in their childhood
- Anne is the girl at the front desk with an obsessive compulsive disorder, tapping on the door frames, organizing the sugar packets, hanging on to assorted items she feels will bring her luck
- Trish struggles with her adoption and the engagement of her best friend, Olive
- Sheila has an affair with a psychologist, Marty, who is Morgan’s uncle
- Robin is a real estate broker who has a tumultuous relationship with her bullying older sister
- Ellen longs for a baby so badly she is convinced she’s pregnant, but she can’t convince her husband
- Louise is a train wreck of a rock star whose manager has locked her into a room at the hotel to detox
The lives of these women are beautifully portrayed causing me to feel their pain and sympathize with their situations. Strauss’ writing is exceptional; through her exploration of women’s lives today, I am comforted that I’m not the only one who feels overcome from time to time with minor trials or disappointments which seem huge. Or, which will become huge if not confronted.
I will send one copy to a reader; simply leave a comment to enter the drawing. Winner to be announced a week from today.
Alix Strauss has been a featured lifestyle and trend writer on national morning and talk shows. Her articles cover a range of topics and have appeared in The New York Times, Time, Entertainment Weekly, Esquire and Departures, among others. Her other books include the award-winning collection of shorts, The Joy of Funerals, an anthology of blind date horror stories Have I Got a Guy For You, and most recently, Death Becomes Them: Unearthing the Suicides of the Brilliant, the Famous and the Notorious.
Alix’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Tuesday, June 8th: nomadreader
Wednesday, June 9th: Raging Bibliomania
Thursday, June 10th: Book Addiction
Wednesday, June 16th: Pam’s Perspective
Tuesday, June 22nd: Heart 2 Heart
Wednesday, June 23rd: Reading on a Rainy Day
Thursday, June 24th: As Usual, I Need More Bookshelves
Tuesday, June 29th: Booksie’s Blog