Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Cure for Modern Life-Lisa Tucker

The Cure for Modern Life
Lisa Tucker
Atria, Mar 2008, $24.95
ISBN: 9780743492799

In Philadelphia they were young and in love with plans. Now they have become enemy combatants. Amelia Johannsen has devoted her life to helping the poor; while business executive Matthew Connelly has devoted his life to making money.

On a freezing night, Matthew walks to his loft across a bridge only to be accosted by a desperate ten year old child. Danny “the knight” as he calls himself that night pleads with Matthew to help his three years old sister Isabelle as both are homeless. Matthew wants to rid himself of the pest, but Danny refuses because he knows what will happen to his sibling. One thing leads to another with Danny involving Matthew who involves Amelia who involves their old college friend Ben.

This is a terrific character driven morality tale in which Lisa Tucker makes the case that it takes people caring about the welfare of others to make an ethical society. Danny is a fascinating character as he uses several names depending on who he hits upon and classifies his marks; for instance he assumes on first impression that Matthew is a selfish Republican SOB. Amelia is the bleeding heart liberal while Matthew is the cold hearted conservative and Ben is the pragmatic middle that the two extreme sides assume lacks passion. THE CURE FOR MODERN LIFE is truly to care and help other people.

Harriet Klausner

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