Heartbreak Town

Marsha Moyer ’s whip-smart storytelling elevates the amiable chick lit of her third Lucy Hatch book, Heartbreak Town , well above the genre. When we last saw Lucy, she and singer-songwriter husband Ash had moved to Nashville to work his label deal. But when record sales sag, Ash escapes into whiskey and dope, leaving Lucy to gather up their six-year-old son, Jude, and seek the comfort of family and girlfriends in northeast Texas. Welcome to Mooney, population 990, where tongues predictably wag when Ash abandons rehab and parks his contrite but drunken ass in Lucy’s front yard. Heartbreak Town is not unlike, say, a Norman Rockwell painting: The subject matter—homespun and sentimental—overshadows the artist’s skill and humor. The book’s audience will resemble its characters: women who talk to women about husbands, ex-husbands, and kids. For the rest of us, perhaps there is a very good— even great—mainstream novel in Moyer’s future. Three Rivers Press, $13.95

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