Book Review: 'The Trouble with Lexie'

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A few chapters in, Lexie (Harper Perennial) reads like another of the easygoing, comically entertaining page-turners written by Jessica Anya Blau, A&S '95 (MA). Lexie James is a counselor at a posh New England boarding school, and she has a handsome and talented fiancé who crafts custom guitars. Once she starts considering an affair with the father of her favorite student, however, anxieties and insecurities she thought she'd outgrown return.

Blau's fourth novel is less concerned with her protagonists' relationships with men than with her excoriating self-doubt and criticism, and the book, while sustaining Blau's usual breezy tone, is a blistering portrait of a 30-something woman doing her best to confront her working-class childhood, life expectations, and crippling anomie.