Prospect Park West


Prospect Park West.
Sohn, Amy (Author)
Sep 2009. 400 p. Simon & Schuster, hardcover, $25.00. (9781416577638).
As housewives, desperate and geographically designated, are all the rage on TV, it is no surprise to see a similarly focused novel. We follow four stay-at-home mothers (or “sahms”) through a summer in Brooklyn’s trendy Park Slope: a movie star, social climber, sex kitten, and hasbian (former lesbian). Their clothes are described via labels; their children are trophies, possessions, or benchmarks; their husbands well-paid. The local food coop becomes a hotbed after a pickpocketing, eliciting fleeting racism among the politically correct. The intrigue in their lives rivals that of a middle-school lunchroom with matching levels of self-absorption. These are not necessarily women we would identify with or even want to know, yet there is an undeniable fascination in seeing their lives unfold, refold, and perhaps crumple. While this is certainly no morality play, the lesson here might be: do not stay home with the baby, there is far too much mischief to get into. Sohn, bestselling author (My Old Man, 2004) and columnist for New York magazine,will attract many new followers.

— Danise Hoover