Anyone who ever swooned over the pages of Teen Beat will delight in the premise of "I Think I Love You." Back in the 1970s, Petra, then a teen, won a trip to meet the boy of her dreams, pop star David Cassidy. The only hitch? She never found out about it. Her mother concealed this life-changing news from her daughter for decades, and the results are high hilarity of a particularly British stripe.
Author and renowned wit Allison Pearson first took readers by storm with her 2003 debut novel, "I Don't Know How She Does It." Part wifely complaint, part paean to female multitasking, that book's wisecracking domestic drama hit women right where they lived -- behind the steering wheels of their minivans.
Pearson, a staff writer at the London Daily Telegraph, sparked a worldwide discussion among women struggling to balance home and work during the "Mommy Wars" years, an era that now appears quaint in light of the present dissolute economic times when everyone is simply glad to know someone -- mother, father, anyone -- who has a job.
Pearson's latest offers comedic relief of the highest order, tackling a whole new conundrum. What happens when women realize the things they once wanted so badly -- husband, family, career -- have all disappointed them in ways they never predicted?
Present-day Petra copes with her mother's death, divorce and a difficult teenager, yet Pearson's upbeat prose pokes fun at the heroine's disappointments, seeing her through lost love, fleeting youth and, most poignant, the caustic competition that can exist between generations of mothers and daughters.