June 10, 2002 12:00 PM

By Marian Keyes

Margaret Walsh, the third sister in Keyes’s three-book series about the love lives of an Irish clan, is the one “born without the diva gene.” Playing it safe has landed her a manageable mortgage and a husband who, she discovers, has just had an affair. Dominoes fall, and Margaret, shamed and separated, hunkers down at her parents’ house in suburban Dublin, where the property is well-watered by her tears.

Hightailing it to her pal Emily’s bungalow in Los Angeles for “sunshine, fat-free Pringles [and] me,” Maggie needs healing—or at least a random fling. The West Coast satire is as stale as last week’s tofu, but Maggie’s wit and insights on love and loss—”Isn’t it strange,” she says, “that sometimes the memory of an act of kindness can cause more pain than the cruel stuff?”—save this Revenge of the Good Girl tale from Movie of the Week-dom. Maggie calls herself dull, but she has enough unassuming charm to earn the choicest table at the Ivy. (Morrow, $24.95)

Bottom Line: You’ll be on cloud eight

You May Like