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I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere but the Pool

Review

I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere but the Pool

The literary duo is at it again. I NEED A LIFEGUARD EVERYWHERE BUT THE POOL is the eighth book in as many summers by prolific, bestselling author Lisa Scottoline and her daughter, Francesca Serritella. Lisa is an empty nester who lives near Philadelphia with a menagerie of lovable and unruly pets. Francesca, a Harvard graduate, resides in New York City with her furry kids, a dog and a cat. Lisa is exactly twice her daughter's age, which explains to some extent their somewhat differing perspectives on life. This makes the book even more interesting since we look at modern-day life in America through two contrasting views.

Lisa has hens who refuse to earn their keep until she tricks them into laying eggs. Who knew you could trick a chicken? One of her many dogs, a corgi named Ruby, is handicapped and must wear a diaper. Lisa thought she was through changing diapers. Nope. Then there is the slithery garden resident. Is the snake a pet or not?

Inside Lisa's home, every room is filled with shelves of books. She can't decide if she is a collector or a hoarder. She does not have a green thumb when it comes to house plants and has given up on them.

"Like life itself, both these strong, likable women are continually evolving. Their writing is keeping pace, and I NEED A LIFEGUARD EVERYWHERE BUT THE POOL is proof."

Lisa writes that "Yoga pants are the gateway drug to actual yoga." Her fans know what happens next.

The ladies take a lengthy book tour by car to Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Cape Cod. With so many bodies of water to cross, there are the requisite number of bridges. Francesca saves the day by driving across the bridges that intimidate Lisa, which are all of them. She chides her mother for driving much too slowly on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Lisa clings to the outdated slogan "55 Stay Alive."

Francesca has spent her 20s figuring things out and learning to make good decisions, a necessary part of being a twentysomething. She has just turned 30 and is now mapping out plans and trusting her choices. While revising her first novel, she decides to take a temporary break from the opposite sex. She is mystified that friends find this such a weird thing to do since it is just temporary. They keep suggesting dating apps but just don't get that she’ll get back in the dating game when she's ready.

Recently Francesca sat for a passport photo and learned about a new rule: no showing teeth when smiling. Smiling with the mouth closed. Is that a smirk? And they charge 24 bucks for two very small pictures. Still, the photos are passable.

Francesca obsesses over a lock of newly highlighted hair that she describes as "a lemon-yellow stripe.” After three days of hair angst, she returns to the colorist who gladly and quickly tones down the offending lock of hair. And Francesca realizes it’s fine to ask for what you need.

Francesca comes to terms with calm, quiet New Year's Eve celebrations. She no longer needs excitement on the last night of the year. And when another woman shows up at a pool party wearing exactly the same bathing suit she has on, well, that's all right too because "women's empowerment doesn't exist without sisterhood."

Like life itself, both these strong, likable women are continually evolving. Their writing is keeping pace, and I NEED A LIFEGUARD EVERYWHERE BUT THE POOL is proof.

Reviewed by Carole Turner on July 14, 2017

I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere but the Pool
by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella

  • Publication Date: July 11, 2017
  • Genres: Essays, Humor, Nonfiction
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • ISBN-10: 1250059968
  • ISBN-13: 9781250059963