Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Fallback Plan

2. The Fallback Plan by Leigh Stein

I suppose it's not surprising that my mother would find it amusing to buy me a book about a college graduate who moves back home with her parents. Fortunately, that's where the similarities between my life and that of the main character, Esther, end. (Okay, that and that we're both Jewish with obviously Hebraic names).

The plot, which I'm not sure exists, revolves around Esther's job babysitting for a couple who has recently lost their younger child. She befriends the mother, adores the daughter, and embarks on a vague affair with the father. As far as I can tell, the character has little depth beyond her love of the little girl, no ambition except to mooch off her parents forever, and does not change at all from the beginning to the end of this insipid production.

The character doesn't even have the redeeming quality of making me want to hate her, she's simply not worth it. I don't care about her feelings on any topic, and that would be the only reason to read the book. It's nice for Stein that this got her published, and as her bio unequivocally states that she no longer lives with her parents, it's clear that her character is at least not entirely biographical. The Fallback Plan, then, is hope for college grads everywhere. If we've got nothing else to do, might as well get published.

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