Fountains of Wayne, the poet laureates of New Jersey, wrote the eternal hymn “Stacy’s Mom” way back in the halcyon days of 2003: “Stacey’s mom has got it going on”.
How could they have known that a cool twenty years later we would now be saying the same thing about Sadie’s mom?!
Is this just a smutty book about an eternally messed up friendship and family? Yes and no. Alice and Sadie are best friends. Alice is a cypher and Sadie is an anal-retentive nightmare. Sadie’s mom, Celine, is a slightly fading iconoclast of the 90s radical feminist movement. The whirlpool of ego between these three is absolutely deadly. Sadie can barely function without molding Alice’s every move. Alice is an actress and therefore, a sponge. She can’t help but soak up whatever attention comes her way. Unfortunately for everyone involved, the attention is now coming hot and heavy from Celine. You know, her best friend’s mother.
What are these girls to do?
Make a big, dishy mess. The dynamics are a disaster. The lust is off the charts. The assumptions are acid-wrought, and the consequences are vicious but juicy. Alice Sadie Celine is what happens when Sally Rooney quits navel gazing and starts, uh, probing into other orifices. This is a quick and dirty feel-good-feel-bad romp; you can enjoy the drama, keep your empathetic distance, and judge until Judgement Day has come and gone.
Why not kick off the New Year by getting deep into someone else’s juicy issues and leaving yours far behind? Sometimes it feels right to enjoy messy things happening to messy characters.