page turners

The pleasures of this novel—its lucidity and wry humor—are mixed with the sting of recognizing the essential unfairness of the sexual mores of our moment: after years of liberated fun, many women begin to feel terribly lonely when realize they want a commitment; men, who seem to have all the power to choose, are also stuck with an unasked-for power to inflict hurt. We’ll have to keep searching for an arrangement that works better, and monogamous coupledom may not be it, Waldman suggests. But she offers no balm, no solution—and tacitly resists a culture that offers sunny advice and reassurance to women.