Every Day
by Marie Mosley, contemporary (2001)
Zebra, $5.99, ISBN 0-8217-6641-4

"In the bestselling tradition of Barbara Delinsky", the front cover tells me. Hmmm. I haven't read any Barbara Delinsky before, but if her books are anything like what the Marie Mosleys, Barbara Brettons, Georgia Bockovens, and whoever else write, I may just have found a favorite new genre to read.

Every Day is all about family and love. Not that it's anything earthshattering - in fact, it has its priorities all screwed up - but at least it tries to focus on people and emotions. So, it's a good thing.

As usual, like all of these stories, we have three siblings, two women and one man. Of course the man is the eldest kid. Anyway, we also have the mother. Mother Ellen Chandler is a candidate for Mother of the Year, but when she has a stroke, her three kids Mark, Claire, and Amy are shattered. This event is the catalyst of the three kids' soul searching.

The good? Marie Mosley does succeed in writing a story about emotions, especially when it comes to Claire's story. Claire is the insecure middle child, a single mother who is attracted to her boss who can only give her sex and little else. How she finds the strength to realize that she deserves more is a very good read.

The middling? Amy. She is the hyperkinetic, overachieving baby of the family, and she falls for the surgeon Seth Donovan. Seth is a divorcee who is still friends with his ex-wife - fancy that! He is also a nice man, as is Amy a nice woman, and they fall in love nice and slow. This is a more typical romance, and naturally, Amy takes almost all the limelight of this story.

The bad? Mark. Other than Amy, he takes up most of the limelight too. As the eldest son, his story has to be the midlife crisis thing. I mean, he's a middle-aged man now. Oh, look, his thirty-eight year old wife Peggy is so old now, how boring, unlike Rene, his boss' daughter, who is young and nubile and makes him feel so sexy and manly all over again.

And this man has the cheek to rip into Ellen for her one sole indiscretion even as he is lusting after Rene. And he has the cheek too to be so insufferable and annoying, all the while going "Oh, I've lost my identity!" Trust Mark to make his mother's stroke All About Mark.

Sure, Mark is a jerk. The only way his story can be redeemed is he getting thrown out on his sorry ass by his wife. But Peggy understands. Mark takes two pages to turn over a new leaf - most unconvincingly, if I may add - and she understands. I have to check to see if Marie Mosley is not the pseudonym of Edward Burns.

Still, the Markoholic overkill aside, Amy and Claire offer some great stories. Every Day, in a sense, is a predictable by-the-book "old momma brings the kids together" women's fiction story. But the author does succeed in making me invest emotionally into Amy, Claire, and even Mark's story (Mark story, well, I invest my utmost disdain into it), so it's a job well done by Ms Mosley. Nice.

Rating: 85

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