March 13, 2000 12:00 PM

by Olivia Goldsmith

Call it First Wives—The Prequel. Having already demonstrated the pleasure of watching three middle-aged divorcées wreak vengeance on their slimeball exes, First Wives Club author Goldsmith now turns her delightfully wry eye on three more youthful brides, each wrestling with her own attempt at happily-ever-after. Half-Italian, half-Jewish lawyer Angela Rachel Goldfarb Romazzano Wakefield is celebrating the first anniversary of her marriage to a dashing Boston WASP. Michelle Russo is a perky blonde homemaker who married her childhood sweetheart and adores her kids and her plush suburban lifestyle. Bank manager Jada Jackson has three children and a hunk she describes as DDG (drop-dead gorgeous). But one by one, each of the women’s love boats springs a leak. Disillusioned with lying, scheming and cheating by their mates, the girlfriends band together to find themselves, their dignity and a little bit of justice along the way.

Yes, the plot is awfully similar to the author’s other tale of wronged wives getting even. And naturally a film version of Young Wives is already in the works. But with irresistibly likable heroines limned by Goldsmith’s laugh-out-loud prose, you won’t mind a second showing. (HarperCollins, $25)

Bottom Line: Wickedly funny female bonding

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