by Alisa Kwitney

July 2004
ISBN: 0-06-053079-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Trade
Trade Paperback

Interested in something different than reading about all the single twentysomething chicks looking for love and a career while hanging out with their friends? Then do make sure to get a copy of Alisa Kwitney’s newest release On the Couch. It’s thirtysomethings looking for love and a slice of happiness while talking to their partners.

Alisa Kwitney is an author recommended by Jennifer Crusie. Doesn’t mean, though, it is as hilarious and laugh-out-loud as most of Crusie’s books. It’s more subtle and definitely has an edgy, off-beat humor. And as such, Jewish NYPD detective Joe Kaine and trust fund kid and psychologist Dr. Marlowe Riddle’s search for companionship comes with the hurdles, victories and embarrassment that are oh so familiar. The dry humor that saves you from perishing in mortification and the glee and satisfaction gleaned from recognizing humiliating incidents along with realizing that they do happen to others too had me giggling in sympathy and sighing in understanding.

Yes once more a single-in-the-city story is set in New York, and the city can’t help but be a character one can’t ignore. However, whatever Marlowe and Joe have to go through in order to find happiness could just as well happen anywhere else. Searching for the perfect partner at the local gym, singles event or with an Internet ad are not much better than your mom trying to set you up with a nice Jewish girl or having to deal with a too-needy cat. Friends you compete with, envy and feel sorry for are to be found everywhere. Interesting though might be how easy it is to feel lonely even in a city of millions. And not just lonely for a lover, husband or boyfriend, but more importantly for true friends.

Alisa Kwitney skillfully captures the various feelings and agonies that go with the desperate search for finding closeness. It’s not all laughs and not at all sweet. And when Marlowe and Joe accidentally find each other – he is a cop investigating a suspicious death and mistakes her for a call girl involved with the deceased person and she plays along - it’s raunchy, sexual, intense and very sexy. Marlowe’s fear of revealing too much about herself and Joe trying hard to keep from being hurt lead to some very steamy dialogues and playacting. And as both Joe and Marlowe get to tell the story in their own words one is never left in the dark to how it affects them.

Alisa Kwitney knows what she is writing about. She is a native New Yorker and she owns a needy cat… Very New York and very chick lit. On the Couch is not Sex and the City though, nor Bridget Jones, it’s sort of more grownup, very smart and definitely more of a romance. However, whatever people want to label it, it doesn’t make a difference in how well written and entertaining this story is.

Reviewed in June 2004 by Kris Alice.

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