Beth Robinson is a 40-ish public relations person turned stay-at-home mom, who, aside from an occasional pang of mourning for her lost youth, is pretty well content. That is, until Rachel Klein, a hip young advertising executive, moves into the house next door. When Rachel confides in Beth her ambitious career plans and her intention to rekindle an old flame with man-about-town Tim Donnelly, Beth is envious. So what if Rachel can't cook, knows nothing about gardening and forgets to take out her garbage? She has an exciting job, an attractive love-prospect, and friends like Schuyler LaSalle, a singing stock analyst who reminds Beth of her own long-lost aspiration to be a dancer on Broadway.
Soon, Beth realizes she must find a way to build a new flame for herself with the old dancing spark. Rachel -- between career-making moves at work -- tries to light Tim's fire without getting burned. And the garbage starts to show signs of life ... Old Flames is a book you'll want to curl up with in a comfortable chair (dancing optional).
Old Flames followed me everywhere when I was reading it. It's a light, funny look at two women and their love life regrets -- but don't let the fast pace fool you; there is depth here. This book lingers. It's set in North Toronto, and though I was reading in Vancouver -- I even took it on the boat because I couldn't put it down -- I felt like I was living inside, chilling with the characters. When I finished reading, I turned sadly to my husband in bed and said, ''The book's over''.
'Old Flames may not have a unique plot, but in Moritsugu's hands, it sings. Her signature writing style is light, fluid and seemingly effortless. Like her debut novel, Looks Perfect, Old Flames initially seems a little frivolous, yet it has wisdom. Moritsugu helps us face our own foibles by gently mocking them, like those internal arguments when we recognize we're about to do something foolish, but experience and wisdom don't necessarily stop us.'
'Moritsugu ... is the Tom Wolfe of mid-town Toronto. With spot-on accuracy she captures the mores and motions of life in a middle class neighbourhood, creating a sharply comic yet affectionate picture.'