Based Upon Availability by Alix Strauss (Review and Give-Away)

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

Wednesday, June 30th: Starting Fresh

17 thoughts on “Based Upon Availability by Alix Strauss (Review and Give-Away)

  1. I'm glad you enjoyed it more than I did. I only identified with or cared about a few of the characters, and I wasn't a huge fan of the writing, especially in the Morgan chapters.


  2. Drop my name in the hat for this, please. I've seen a couple of other reviews and think it might be something I would enjoy.You can use this email address:janezfan(at)yahoo(dot)com


  3. I agree, Strauss really made me identify with and care about these characters, even the ones that were nothing like me. (don't enter me for the giveaway, I already have the book!)


  4. Nice review, Bellezza! Glad to know that you liked the book and Strauss' prose. For me somehow the title 'Based Upon Availability' and word 'Give-Away' got connected in my mind and I thought the give-away was based on availability! I didn't realize that, that was the title of the book 🙂


  5. You sold me on this one. I do have the book and think I would like it. Thanks so much.In case you did not see my response to your furminator comment, I could not stop LOL. How dare your husband…LOL


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