Stacey Lender‘s debut novel City Mouse is nothing short of fantastic. Compared to The Real Housewives, Lender takes on suburbia, friendship and motherhood- all ingredients for a perfect beach read and page-turner. I am delighted she shared her bag with us today and HIGHLY recommend City Mouse for your beach bag paired with a crisp glass of wine because that’s what all suburban wives and mom’s do…right? Also I immediately fell in love with Stacey when she shared her vintage Gucci make-up bag, gasp!
via Amazon ~
“A hilarious book about the city vs. suburb divide.”
—New York Post, a Must-Read Book
“City Mouse is a sharp and sophisticated novel of suburban life with a narrative voice that is equal parts witty, observant, and vulnerable. A wonderful debut!
—Susan Isaacs, New York Times best-selling author
“For every city mom who fears death by suburbia–and for every suburban mom who wonders if it’s just her–this insightful, funny trip into the secrets behind those picket fences is required reading.”
—Maureen Sherry, author of Opening Belle
“City Mouse reminds mothers of that priceless lesson: the grass is always greener…and maybe even alcohol-soaked Astroturf. I tore through this book like a bored, competitive housewife tears through her Xanax.”
—Faith Salie, author of Approval Junkie
“Lender sharply portrays the corrupt privilege of upper-middle-class suburbanites, and with a twist of her pen, the Stepford Wives take the upper hand over their husbands…the climactic explosion takes everyone by surprise. A bracingly tart portrait of suburban hell.”
“Lender’s enlightening, beautifully plotted novel dives deep into the notion of having it all while playing with the shallow notions of the American dream.”
“This defines a beach read for me! So relatable to our own lives as it is all about mom trying to find out exactly where she fits in the in the scheme of suburbia–all that goes along with it. Plus, when a book is described as The Stepford Wives meets Bad Moms, how can you go wrong?”
—Mom of the Year (blog), included in 20 Best Summer Books
“It’s not long before neighborhood secrets give away to scandal, proving the grass–and the Astroturf–isn’t always greener on the other side of the white-picket fence.”
“With real estate prices on the rise, Jessica, Aaron, and their kids are forced to ditch their chichi Manhattan digs for the suburbs. Though she had her worries, Jessica settles into her new normal with ease–but when she embarks on a moms-only trip with her new galpals, she ends up learning a few eye-opening lessons that spur her to reevaluate her life.”
“Lender’s debut novel is positively irresistible. It’s hilarious and insightful and just the type of book any city girl needs to tote to her vacation rental this summer…even with three kids in tow.”
Priced out of their Manhattan neighborhood, Jessica and Aaron move with their young daughters to the one place Jessica swore she’d never go: the suburbs. But to Jessica’s surprise, life in the commuter belt makes a great first impression. She quickly falls in with a clique of helpful mom friends who welcome her with pitchers of margaritas, neighborhood secrets, and a pair of hot jeans that actually fit.
Still, it’s hard to keep up in a crowd where everyone competes for the most perfectly manicured home and latest backyard gadgets. And what’s worse, as the only working mom in her circle, Jessica sometimes feels disconnected and alone. So she’s thrilled when she’s invited to a moms-only weekend at the beach, which she assumes will mean new opportunities for real talk and bonding. Instead, the trip turns into a series of eye-opening lessons, and Jessica must decide if she’s strong enough to be honest with herself about the sort of life she really wants.
What is your bag of choice?
I recently discovered this great brand Verloop Knits, and am in love with my new summer tote. It’s so happy and bright and has such a beautiful texture – plus it can go straight from the beach to a lunch meeting. It’s a perfect match for my W.H. Petronela Python iPad sleeve.
What are your top favorite beauty picks?
When it comes to beauty products and makeup, I’m all about speed and a natural everyday look. For skincare, Tatcha Brightening Serum is incredibly sheer and lightweight and gives my skin an amazing glow. Kevyn Aucoin has so many terrific products, especially the eyeshadow and long-lasting Precision Eye Definer (bonus: it never needs a sharpener). For lips, I like NARS lip gloss because it isn’t sticky, and when I step it up at night and wear lipstick, this sparkly tube of Lipstick Queen’s All that Jazz says, ‘it wouldn’t kill you to put on a pair of heels.’
What do you always carry in her bag/purse/carry-on for beauty products?
Elta MD SPF 46 sunscreen is seriously the best product out there for sensitive skin and one of my everyday musts. I always throw a pair of sunglasses in my bag (and have quite a collection of $5 street fair specials), but when I splurge, my go-to shades are Lafont Paris.
What are you currently reading?
Summer is my favorite time to chill with a good book, and I like to mix it up with juicy novels, memoirs, biographies, and short story collections. Colum McCann is one of my favorite authors, and I’ve been catching up on some of his works including Thirteen Ways of Looking. Last month I was at an event where author and comedienne Cynthia Kaplan read one of her hilarious essays about sex after childbirth, and I can’t wait to dig into Leave the Building Quickly. Also on my must-reads for summer: Abby Fabiaschi’s debut I Liked My Life and Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke’s The Good Widow.
And any other fun item/must-have that you always have with you 🙂
In high school I saved up for this Gucci makeup bag, and while I’ve upgraded its contents since those Bonnie Bell Lip Smacker days, to say that this little bag has stood the test of time is an understatement. It’s been with me on my roadie travels across the country, at my wedding, and a million everyday stops in between. Oh the stories this bag could tell…
*Many thanks to stacey for sharing her gorgeous, summery tote and blessing us with a wonderful beach read ❤