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|Description:||254 p. ; 25 cm.|
Murder, mayhem, and motherhood are hilariously woven together in this novel by bestselling author Judith Viorst. Brenda (a syndicated newspaper columnist, compulsive advice-giver, and possessor of what she likes to call "a profound grasp of the human condition") lives in Washington, D.C., with her pediatric-surgeon husband Jake, possessor of great thighs, a gorilla suit, and a mounting irritation with Brenda's "helpful" intrusions.
Other characters include the burly, bullying Joseph Monti; his neurotic daughter Josephine (among her phobias is a fear of contracting botulism from canned foods that have been improperly sealed); Brenda's son Wally, a truly lovely person who intends, over Mr. Monti's strenuous objections, to marry Jo; Brenda's other son, Jeff (who, though he no longer snorts, smokes, or swallows controlled substances, is not so truly lovely); Philip Eastlake, formerly Epstein, a world-famous TV pundit ("Oy, is that a genius or is that a genius!"); and Adrienne, a woman so politically correct that her definition of date rape includes any consensual sexual act that ends without the woman's having an orgasm.
There is also Adrienne's (and Brenda's) lover, the super-empathetic black activist Louis; Joseph Monti's surprising wife, Brenda's easily offended sister, Rosalie, who arrives in Washington with her frisky Great Dane; and Brenda's closest friend, Carolyn, who warns Brenda that "there is no such thing as equal-opportunity adultery."
Along with murder and adultery, Murdering Mr. Monti examines the passionate wish that some of us - okay, many of us - have to be in control of our lives (and everyone else's) and the necessity of learning, as Brenda may or may not learn, FOR PEACE OF MIND RESIGN AS GENERAL MANAGER OF THE UNIVERSE.
It also examines the outrageous lengths to which mothers will go for their children, for it is Brenda's contention that some mothers - no, most mothers - are willing to lie, cheat, steal, and, yes, kill for their kids. Witty and wise, Murdering Mr. Monti is wonderfully entertaining from beginning to end.