This ambitious novel breaks new ground for chick lit. Told in two unique voices, it's tough and raw and sometimes very funny.

When newspaper columnist Lily turns 40, her editor assigns her a story about her first mammogram. The tests reveal cancer, and every aspect of single mom Lily's life changes. Lily and her gay best friend, Michael, must cope with the possibility of her death. Her vulnerability as she tries to keep her sense of humor in the worst possible situation is poignant and endearing.

College professor Michael's sections, particularly those that focus repetitively on the past, don't come off quite as well. Yet Michael rises compassionately to the occasion. He is in every way a match for Lily. The novel portrays gay culture in all its complexity and doesn't give cancer a soft sell. Instead, Orloff makes it real, and does it with humor and style. (Oct., 320 pp., $12.95)
Reviewed by: 
Cindy Harrison