I disagree with other reviewers. This is a funny, irreverant look at how a new widow deals with mourning. Yet, despite the depressing topic, the story is told tongue-in-cheek - a little pathos, a lot heart-wrenching.
From Publishers Weekly
Packed with convincing detail and effortless description, Hood's tale of romance and loss mixes the venerable with the vulgar and brings the adult world into vibrant contact with adolescence. Thirty-seven-year-old Lower East Side milliner Olivia meets and marries the love of her life only to lose him, less than a year later, to a reckless teenager speeding around a blind corner. Weakened by grief and unable to make peace with her husband's killer, Olivia retreats to the couple's summer house, which is soon invaded by another teenager, this time a trespasser: the manipulative, precocious and pregnant title character. The relationship that develops between the two women?first wary, then needy, finally loving?is the substance of this rich and well-imagined story. With equal ease, Hood (The Properties of Water) describes Olivia dancing alone to a Louis Armstrong/Ella Fitzgerald duet in her St. Mark's Place hat shop, and Ruby, a smart, poor kid from Rhode Island who covets the sophistication and luxury she sees around her. Though Ruby sometimes seems older than her age, she is every inch a 15-year-old when she worries that her swelled stomach makes her look like John Candy and claims that she's had a sordid affair with her stylish French teacher. Hood writes with authority and humor, blending the moneyed scenery of great New England fiction with the sweet audacity of a paperback barn burner. Along the way, her observations about widows and divorcees, gestation and childbearing, fashion magazines and overcooked risotto make for disarming and ultimately affecting entertainment.
I tried, I really did, but I DNF. At page 43 I closed the book and said the hell with this. Later the next day I picked it up and tried again. It took me three more days just to get to page 93. I really hated this book. I absolutely despised the main character Olivia. Olivia is a flippin idiot. I can't describe her any other way. The woman is not right in the head and it's not even an endearing not right in the head. She has to be the stupidest character I have ever had the misfortune of coming across. I have no idea what makes her think she would have ever been able to raise a baby. At the point I got to, I didn't even care anymore whether or not she would get the baby or what she would do with it when she got it. I did want to finish Ruby's story and what happened to her in the end, but I couldn't bear to listen to Olivia babble one more minute.
I read about 25% of this, decided I really didn't give a rodent's posterior about the characters, what they were doing, or where the book was going, so I quit reading it. At the point where I quit, it was reading like an Oprah book - not one of the classics, but one about women in odd situations, pulling themselves up by their bootstraps with the help of a caring community. Not what I wanted to be reading right now, or not good enough to keep me reading.
I could not get into this book....