Author: Paula Froelich

Publisher: Washington Square Press/Atria Books ( A division of Simon and Schuster)

ISBN-10: 978-1-4165-9894-7

Click Here To Purchase Mercury in Retrograde: A Novel

I thoroughly enjoyed Mercury in Retrograde, Paula Froelich’s first novel. Initially, I anticipated a glimpse into a kind of lifestyle that I have never endured, one fraught with moneyed high rollers, glitz, and glamour, but instead, Froelich wrote a somewhat comedic story that chronicles more down-to-earth, real people. It involves three women whose circumstances place them in each other’s paths and whose decisions create new lives for each of them.

The namesake for the title, Penelope Mercury, has an unenviable job with a New York rag of a newssheet. She has to go to great lengths to keep what is in effect a horrible job. When a series of events coincide to cause her to lose her job, she finds a way to land on her feet with a new job and co-workers that are much more promising.

Froelich weaves prescient (and humorous) horoscope information in deftly, giving a little preview of what’s in store for each of the characters. Thus we realize that it was Mercury in retrograde that led to the incidents for Penelope. Her new-found friends in her apartment building are prone to similar happenstance.

Dana Gluck has become almost a recluse in the building, owing to the collapse of her marriage. But she’s into yoga, and that prompts an invite by her yoga teacher to Penelope and Lena “Lipstick” Lippencrass to join in the yoga classes. Once the three of them meet, they form a united front to support and encourage each other.

Lena’s on the lam from her wealthy parents, who’ve cut her off financially. That fuels her desire to prove herself and she does so in a creative and sensational way, with the help of her two new friends. Dana and Penelope likewise follow paths of self-discovery, not without pitfalls, but those of course hinge on the vagaries of the horoscope!

I think Froelich has good insight on the types she has cast, working as she does in New York on some high-profile columns, TV shows, and blogs. The one criticism I would make of the writing is that after we are introduced to Lena’s “Lipstick” nickname, it is used throughout. To me, it didn’t give the right impression of the depth of the character that she became. I would have preferred to know her as Lena with the Lipstick moniker a kooky sidebar. Nonetheless, I look forward to a next book from this author.

Click Here To Purchase Mercury in Retrograde: A Novel