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More About When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger; Laura BenantiOverviewHE SET HER UP. THEY'LL BRING HIM DOWN. Welcome to Greenwich, Connecticut, where the lawns and the women are perfectly manicured, the Tito's and sodas are extra strong, and everyone has something to say about the infamous new neighbor. Let's be clear: Emily Charlton does not do the suburbs. After leaving Miranda Priestly, she's been working in Hollywood as an image consultant to the stars, but recently, Emily's lost a few clients. She's hopeless with social media. The new guard is nipping at her heels. She needs a big opportunity, and she needs it now. When Karolina Hartwell, a gorgeous former supermodel, is arrested for a DUI, her fall from grace is merciless. Her senator-husband leaves her, her Beltway friends disappear, and the tabloids pounce. In Karolina, Emily finds her comeback opportunity. But she quickly learns Greenwich is a world apart and that this comeback needs a team approach. So it is that Emily, the scorned Karolina, and their mutual friend Miriam, a powerful attorney turned stay-at-home suburban mom, band together to not only navigate the social land mines of suburban Greenwich but win back the hearts of the American public. Along the way, an indispensable ally emerges in one Miranda Priestly. With her signature wit, Lauren Weisberger offers an alluring look into a sexy, over-the-top world--and proves it's style and substance together that gets the job done.
Audio: Making lemonade
It’s August, and we’re entitled to an end-of-summer indulgence. My new guilty pleasure is When Life Gives You Lululemons, Lauren Weisberger’s delicious return to the characters from her 2003 bestseller, The Devil Wears Prada. This time, Emily Charlton, the brash, sassy former assistant to fashion editor Miranda Priestly, is front and center and mired among the ultra-rich, appearance-obsessed 30-something moms of Greenwich, Connecticut. Though Emily hightailed it from NYC to LA to be a celebrity image consultant, she ended up, to her chagrin, living with her old pal Miriam. But Emily’s talents are sorely needed when Karolina, a former Slavic supermodel falsely and devastatingly accused of a DUI, is banished to Greenwich by her husband, a successful junior senator with eyes on the presidency and a new wife to go with it. Having learned revenge from the “Devil” herself, Emily is in her element, so sit back and enjoy the satisfying details of the takedown. Laura Benanti gives a fabulous performance that even Miranda would approve of.
What makes Zoje Stage’s suspense-filled thriller, Baby Teeth, the creepiest debut of the season? Let me count the ways . . . first, there’s Hanna, a pretty, preternaturally precocious 7-year-old. She adores her father, Alex, a handsome Swedish architect, but abhors her mother, Suzette, whom she torments and would truly like to murder. Suzette, anguished and unnerved by Hanna’s increasingly menacing behavior, swings wildly from blaming herself for Hanna’s behavior to wanting Hanna out of the house. Hanna refuses to talk, though there’s nothing physically wrong with her, yet Stage lets us in on her inner thoughts, as well as Suzette’s, while they play out this tantalizingly taut mother-daughter drama from hell. In alternating chapters, Gabra Zackman gives them perfectly crafted voices, plus a light Swedish cadence for the evermore mystified and mortified Alex. Suzette is a woman on the edge, and Hanna is a little girl reveling in an evil she barely comprehends.
TOP PICK IN AUDIO
Four years ago, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha was in the right place at the right time, and more importantly, she was the right person. A brilliant, totally committed pediatrician with a passion for social justice inherited from her Iraqi immigrant parents, Dr. Mona was the director of a pediatric residency program in Flint, Michigan. In 2014, to save money, the state government switched the city’s water source from Lake Huron to the corrosively polluted Flint River. The resulting water had a horrendously high lead level that can cause permanent cognitive impairment to young children. Dr. Mona swung into action in an attempt to protect Flint’s kids, who are mostly underprivileged African-Americans. In What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance and Hope in an American City, she recounts her fight to scientifically document the truth, and then deliver that truth to power. Compelling and ultimately optimistic, it’s made more moving by Dr. Mona’s reading. You can hear her frustrations, her fears and the indomitable ferocity of a woman fighting for what she knows is right.