Wednesday, January 23, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: "Fear and Yoga in New Jersey"

Fear and Yoga in New Jersey
By Debra Galant
Copyright 2008
St. Martin's Press
Adult Fiction

Yes, once again I have picked up a book solely because I liked the title.  I've never seen the movie "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas", but I have heard of it and thought this was a clever little plagiaristic twist. 

Okay, on to the story.  This is definitely a "story" story, about a New Jersey family living the life.  The mom, Nina, has just opened her own yoga studio, but is continually faced with bad luck, perhaps due to some unpleasant feng shui left over from the previous tenant.  The dad, Michael, has been laid off and his family faces financial turmoil as he deals with the emotional implications of being unemployed.  Their son, Adam, is a typical materialistic teenager who grows ever more jealous of a certain Jewish girl in his school who is showered with gifts and an enormous party for her bat mitzvah.  Adam decides he wants to embraces his half-Jewishness so he can have a big party and tons of gifts, too.  

The author throws in a set of meddling in-laws, some mob connections, a lawsuit and an overzealous TSA agent for a twisting and turning series of plot lines and side stories.  I was certainly never bored while reading this one, and actually, it was a bit tough to put down. 

With a little bit of a slapstick style, Galant brings the characters to life and winds the story up into a tornado before bringing it to its somewhat simplistic resolution.  It was a fun read!

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