by Susan Hubbard

June 2004
ISBN: 0-373-25061-4
Reviewer Graphic Button Red Dress Ink
Trade Paperback

Lisa Maria Marino is a twenty-nine year old woman who having lost her job with an advertising agency in New York is again living in her parentsí home in New Sparta. As a young woman growing up she found life in New Sparta quite stifling. Will she find that again or this time around will she maybe find the part of her that sheís been searching for?

Lisa Maria knows that she canít stay home forever feeling sorry for herself. When she finally decides itís time for a job she wants one where she can be her own boss, and hopefully not be around men. She has an unfortunate history of falling for a man she works with. When the relationship fails so does the job. As she scans the classifieds she finds what she thinks might be the perfect jobÖthat of maid.

As her new career takes off she finds herself again getting too involved with her clients. There is Eva Ryan who is having an affair, Elspeth Haverall, who is a spinster who never quite got over being jilted by a long ago love, McAllister, the writer who needs someone to not only care for his home, but also to help motivate his writing, and Mrs. Benedict of whom we donít hear much about in the book.

The way Lisa Maria interacts with each of these clients will strongly affect her as she works for them. She cannot but help getting involved in their lives in a way that most maids and their clients donít.

Lisa Maria also has one other small side job. She writes an advice column for an alternative newspaper. The advice she gives is based on a collection of books she has taken from her attic and that of Ms. Haverallís home upon the death of Ms. Haverall.

As the story unfolds life is taking many unexpected twists and turns. Itís truly amazing how Lisa Maria can use advice from the 1930ís and make it appear so relevant for todayís issues. Throughout the story Lisa Maria is experiencing a maturing that will hopefully see her through the rest of her life.

Lisa Mariaís Guide For Tthe Perplexed is a very light-hearted fast paced read. If youíre a fan of what I consider to be the Chick Lit genre then Iím sure youíll enjoy Lisa Mariaís Guide For The Perplexed.

Reviewed in June 2004 by Sandi.

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