NEVER ON A SUNDAE
Three separate stories from three accomplished authors are linked to a New York diner called Sundae's in this feel-good anthology. Markham delivers "What You Wish For," written in second person, an especially difficult task to sustain for close to 100 pages. She gets kudos for trying something new, but the results aren't great. Even though "you" eat the sundae and "you" look into his eyes, there's an odd distance between the characters, making it hard to absorb "yourself" in the story.
Messina's "Lola Was Here" fares much better. Her tale is about a woman who wants to be taken seriously as a photographer and is afraid of being a one-hit wonder. A party at an old college boyfriend's place helps her realize her own worth.
Finally, Brodsky's "The Waitress" follows Kate, a waitress at Sundae's who hides dark secrets. She's a successful author with a sad past who's looking for love and tired of not finding it. Unfortunately, Kate finds herself falling for a man with a wedding ring. Is that the path she'll choose? If you're looking for a little something different in your chick lit, this is a good choice. "Lola Was Here" is an especially good story that probably should have led this collection. (Oct., 208 pp., $13.00)