The author of the popular Drowning Ruth, Ms. Schwarz is back with this novel detailing one woman's quest to write the "perfect novel."In this carefully written combination of fiction emulating life, what's fascinating about this book is the arrogance of both Letty and Margaret, as each seeks their own goals.

New York resident Margaret Snyder quits her job as a teacher at a private school to concentrate on honing her writing skills. Her creativity is stalled until she discovers fascinating material in the e-mails from her childhood best friend, Letty MacMillan. Letty, a stay-at-home mom, and her husband are attempting to better their economic situation in Los Angeles. Based on his future salary in the employ of a museum, Letty's husband, Michael, aspires for the better things in life.

Margaret changes the focus of her novel to concentrate on Letty and Michael's rise to the top and subsequent financial difficulties. But Margret's endevor begins casting doubts over their lifelong friendship.

(Oct., 400 pp., $24.95)

Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick