One of the essays in this collection ("Very Special Thanks") serves as Kaplan's sarcastic rebuttal to a friend who "mentored" her, without providing any actual assistance. He criticized her first book for not having any identifiable theme. I don't recall that as having been a problem myself when I read it. However, there is a flaw in this book: the stories are all over the place, in no particular order. There's a funny one about cruises, and then a serious look back at Alzheimer's effect on her grandmother. Both are very well done, but don't complement each other. Given the way the essays are laid out, I see this book pleasing nearly no one - a shame as she's a really good writer, who does both serious and funny well, just not alternatingly in the same book.
Cynthia Kaplan is a fantastic writer! This is the first book I have read by her and I loved it! She is not afraid to write about many of the near shameful things we all feel and think about and she does it with such a great sense of humor I felt a little better about myself after reading this.
Some stories were mildly entertaining, but I think she secretly (or not so secretly) yearns to be as dysfunctional as Augustine Burroughs or David Sedaris, and she just isn't dysfunctional enough for my cynical tastes.