Monday, May 15, 2017

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: City Mouse, by Stacey Lender {ends 5/22}

It was the bathroom that finally started us house hunting on the weekends up in Westchester. Sharon and Dave had just moved to Scarsdale from the city and I swear during brunch they slipped Aaron some suburban Kool-Aid with their day-old bagels. While the kids played on a giant plastic gym set in their cavernous empty living room, they proudly gave us a tour of their five-bedroom Colonial, closet by closet. Aaron seemed bored, as usual, but when we entered the en suite master bathroom, complete with double sinks and a rainfall shower, I heard him gasp. "A separate little room for the toilet!" he said, eyes glowing wide with bathroom envy. 

I was surprised to learn that City Mouse is the author's debut novel, as it was very good. It follows a woman and her family who decide to move to the suburbs from NYC, and who does so with doubts, as they she loves the city and doesn't know how she and her family will fare in the suburbs.

Official synopsis:
Book Review and GIVEAWAY: City Mouse, by Stacey Lender
Priced out of their Manhattan neighborhood, Jessica and Aaron move with their young daughters to the one place Jessica swore she’d never go: the suburbs. But to Jessica’s surprise, life in the commuter belt makes a great first impression. She quickly falls in with a clique of helpful mom friends who welcome her with pitchers of margaritas, neighborhood secrets, and a pair of hot jeans that actually fit.

Still, it's hard to keep up in a crowd where everyone competes for the most perfectly manicured home and latest backyard gadgets. And what’s worse, as the only working mom in her circle, Jessica sometimes feels disconnected and alone. So she’s thrilled when she’s invited to a moms-only weekend at the beach, which she assumes will mean new opportunities for real talk and bonding. Instead, the trip turns into a series of eye-opening lessons, and Jessica must decide if she’s strong enough to be honest with herself about the sort of life she really wants.

City Mouse is an irresistible debut that examines what it means to find your place, revealing unspoken truths about motherhood, friendship, and the thorny pursuit to have it all.

This was definitely an easy read (perfect for summer) and I read the book in only a few days. It was interesting to see what happened once Jessica got in to the "in-crowd" in her new suburban neighborhood, and how far she was willing (or not willing) to go to stay "in" with her new friends.

The question of "should I stay in the city or move to the [much cheaper] suburbs?" is not a new one, but Lender addresses it well, showing how Aaron (Jessica's husband) really wants to move there, and thus convinces Jessica that they should move, as it will be better for their kids in the long-run too. (at the beginning of the book, with one toddler and one baby, they were still living in a one-bedroom apartment in NYC)

It's interesting to see what Aaron and Jessica later decide at the end of the book, too, and how their experiences in the suburbs influence that decision.

3.5 stars out of 5.

City Mouse will be in stores and online on June 6, 2017.
{click here to pre-order}

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for reviewing. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

GIVEAWAY:

One of my lucky readers will win a copy of City Mouse!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Monday, May 22nd, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be notified the next day via email and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

City Mouse paperback

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