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Love Bomb
by Lisa Zeidner

Overview -

An inventive, mordantly funny novel about love, marriage, stalkers, and the indignities of parenthood


In quaint Haddonfield, New Jersey, Tess is about to marry Gabe in her childhood home. Her mother, Helen, is in a panic about the guests, who include warring exes, crying babies, jealous girlfriends, and too many psychiatrists.  Read more...


 
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More About Love Bomb by Lisa Zeidner
 
 
 
Overview

An inventive, mordantly funny novel about love, marriage, stalkers, and the indignities of parenthood


In quaint Haddonfield, New Jersey, Tess is about to marry Gabe in her childhood home. Her mother, Helen, is in a panic about the guests, who include warring exes, crying babies, jealous girlfriends, and too many psychiatrists. But the most difficult guest was never on the list at all: a woman in a wedding dress and a gas mask, armed with a rifle, a bomb trigger strapped to her arm.

Lisa Zeidner's audacious novel "Love Bomb "begins as a hostage drama and blossoms into a far-reaching tale about the infinite varieties of passion and heartbreak.

Who has offended this nutcase, and how? Does she seek revenge against the twice-divorced philanderer? Or is her agenda political--against the army general? Or the polygamous Muslim from Mali? While the warm, wise Helen attempts to bond with the masked woman and control the hysteria, the hostages begin to untangle what connects them to one another, and to their captor. But not until the SWAT team arrives does "the terrorist of love" unveil her real motives . . .

Critics have praised Lisa Zeidner's prose for its "unforced edginess and power"; her fiction "shines with humor, wisdom, and poignancy." In her most masterful novel yet, Zeidner gives us a tough yet tender social comedy, a romance with guts, a serious frolic written out of deep affection for all that it skewers.



 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780374192716
  • ISBN-10: 0374192715
  • Publisher: Farrar Straus & Giroux
  • Publish Date: September 2012
  • Page Count: 260


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Contemporary Women
Books > Fiction > Family Life

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2012-07-30
  • Reviewer: Staff

Zeidner’s newest (after Layover) is a quirky and surreal tale of love gone very wrong. Helen Burns is hosting her daughter Tess’s wedding at Helen’s quiet, unremarkable home in suburban New Jersey. But the festivities are cut short when an armed woman—wedding gowned, clown socked, and gas masked—takes the group hostage. But what she’s after, no one knows. Tess and Gabriel, both altruistic folks who met while working for Doctors Without Borders, are unlikely targets, but a few guests suspect their African friends of playing a part. Or maybe the woman’s a crazed fan after Gabriel’s sister’s famous boyfriend. One by one, guests wrack their brains for possible offenses and confess their sins to their captor. But only Helen, a psychotherapist, makes progress, and as the SWAT team prepares to storm the house, she might be the only one who can get the masked woman to disclose her secrets and release the guests. Zeidner packs in too many characters in this zany Bel Canto, and the hostage-taker’s big reveal isn’t earth-shattering, but the author’s gallows humor ably carries the story. Agent: Ellen Levine, Trident Media Group. (Sept.)

 
BookPage Reviews

Dysfunctionally ever after

Stories of wedding disasters abound, but few can match the hostage-taking that drives the plot of Lisa Zeidner’s witty and compassionate fifth novel, Love Bomb. Haddonfield, New Jersey, is low on the list of places one would expect an intruder, dressed in a wedding gown and a gas mask and with an explosive device strapped to her arm, to turn up as an uninvited guest. When she appears at the wedding of Tess Nathanson and Gabriel Billips on a sunny July Saturday, the joyous event is thrown into turmoil.

The guests (led by a gaggle of psychiatrists who bicker over a DSM-IV diagnosis) conclude the “terrorist of love” is there, not for some political motive, but instead to exact revenge on one of their number. What follows, amid scenes of the hostages’ rising terror and their feckless plans for escape, are a series of “confessions,” most noteworthy those of the bride’s thrice-married father, her brother (still mourning the end of his marriage) and the celebrity boyfriend of the groom’s sister, who’s had his own stalker encounter. These accounts, which play every note on the emotional scale, are the fuel for Zeidner’s own wryly clinical examination of how we, with our fractured and blended families, make such a colossal mess of our most intimate relationships.

In the hands of some writers, this brutal honesty might shade over into mean-spiritedness, but even as she’s skewering the pretension and callousness that mar her characters’ outwardly admirable lives, Zeidner never treats them as anything less than human. That’s especially true for the bride’s mother, Helen Burns, and the terrorist herself, who form a strange bond as the wedding afternoon slips into night.

There are enough incidents (a daring escape and a shooting, among them) to sustain the novel’s underlying tension as Zeidner skillfully moves the plot toward a resolution that is tender and at the same time of a piece with the story’s satirical bent. Love Bomb is a pleasing comedy of manners by a writer firmly in command of her material.

 
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