Feature

Novel of the week: Trouble by Kate Christensen

In <em>Trouble, </em>Kate Christensen directs her wit and &ldquo;subversive&rdquo; edge at two 40-something women who indulge in flings with much-younger men.

(Doubleday, $26)

An “improbable” epiphany kicks off Kate Christensen’s “biting” new novel about two women who indulge in flings with much-younger men, said Jane Ciabattari in Bookforum. When an attractive 40-something psychotherapist glimpses her still-svelte figure in a mirror during a New York cocktail party, she’s inspired to ditch her husband and fly to Mexico to hunt for fresh fun alongside her old college roommate. But while Christensen’s usual “caustic brilliance” is muffled by this self-involved narrator, Trouble still turns out to be a “voluptuous” story with a “subversive” edge. Christensen, winner of the 2008 PEN/Faulkner award for 2007’s The Great Man, “is smarter and funnier and more painfully honest than most other writers,” said Lev Grossman in Time.com. As her cougars stir up trouble, reading about them becomes an “almost painfully intense experience.” It’s okay to disapprove of their antics, said Edith R. White in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot. Christensen’s “razzle-dazzle tale of sensual pleasures” includes a “condom by condom” account of the friends’ sexual adventures. But the author is “satirizing a social class,” and her aim is true.

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