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by Olivia Goldsmith

      Heroine: Average/Plump

      Imagine the joy of finally seeing your children off to college and making big plans for rekindling the romance between your husband and you.

      Imagine that your plans fall through time and again because your husband is so busy with work and late-night "meetings."

      Imagine confronting the subject of those "meetings" and discovering to your great shock that she looks exactly like you . . . 10 years and 15 pounds ago.

      Now imagine, just imagine, switching places with her!

      What worked for me:

      I love funny books, and "Switcheroo" certainly had some laugh-out-loud lines and memorable moments, which was very helpful in offsetting the altogether heart-breaking story of a marriage crumbling amidst a mid-life crisis.

      As a wife myself, I could certainly sympathize with Sylvie Schiffer's hideous plight.  But I was surprised to find how much pity I could dredge up for young look-a-like mistress Marla.

     Size-wise Sylvie was slightly plump and feeling frumpy in the beginning of the story, but she shed some weight in order to be able to swap lives with Marla, who gained weight for the same reason.  (Ordinarily fussing over losing 10 or 15 pounds and getting plastic surgery would bother me, but I think for the most part the author handled the situation in a rather tongue-in-cheek way and gave society a bit of a thumb-to-the-nose where its beauty standards are concerned.)

What didn't work for me:    

      Well, it's a modern-day faerie tale that uses science in place of magic, so let's face it . . . plausibility isn't really a factor here.

      I hope to high heaven my grown children are never so unobservant or self-absorbed that they cannot tell the difference between me and a total stranger, especially when the stranger has a completely different personality and way of speaking than I do!

      I wanted to like the husband, and I certainly pitied him, but the vindictive streak in me thinks he did not suffer nearly enough for the havoc he wreaked in the lives of Sylvie and Marla.

       And you've gotta love a word processor's find/replace tool.  I certainly think there must have been a last-minute plausibility boost made to the manuscript using one.  How else can you explain a 29 year old woman constantly being referred to as a young girl and talking as though she's hanging out in her dormitory lounge?    Really, I suspect that Marla was 19 right up until 2 minutes before this book hit the presses. 


       Great bubble bath book for fans of screwball comedy, but be prepared to really work at suspending your disbelief while reading.

Warning:  some coarse words, weight loss and plastic surgery scenarios.

If you liked "Switcheroo" you might also enjoy "Bet Me", "Crazy For You", "Name Dropping", "Infernal Affairs", "Dating Dead Men",   "Tara Road", "Princess Charming", "Welcome to Temptation", "Faking It"The "Stephanie Plum" mystery series, "Plum Girl", or "Fast Women".

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