An Available Man - Hilma Wolitzer
This was a very sweet story, which I really needed to cleanse my literary palate after the last book I read. However, I did have some issues with it.

The first half of the book was not really a cohesive story. It was more like a series of vignettes about a grieving man: the scene where his well-meaing friends try to set him up, the scene where his well-meaing kids place a personal ad; the scene where his friends decide enough is enough - time to clear out reminders of his late wife (I was actually pretty aghast as I read this part), etc. I don't particularly care fore vignette style storytelling, because it keeps the reader at a distance, although it was an effective tool to show us how he was basically keeping everyone at a distance. Still, I like to be more involved with the characters I read about.

Fortunately, the second half of the book came together much better as a novel, despite the contrived feel Edward finally allowing himself to enter a sort-of relationship. The whole section where he reconnected with Lauren felt forced. A man that in love with his late wife would never dishonor her memory by hooking up with a woman who had caused him so much pain. Not to mention the fact that she was so obviously crazy you could smell the batsh*t from a mile away.

Basically, it wasn't great, but it wasn't bad either.