Towne Center hosting Abbi Waxman

Author to discuss writing 'Other People's Houses'

Abbi Waxman apologized to her mother on last Mother's Day in a compilation from five writers who are now also moms.

"My refusal to eat anything green from the ages of 1 to 14," Waxman began, and went on to mention the "whole blue eyeliner period" and her "tastelessness in Mother's Day jewelry choices (giant rhinestone peacock pin, anyone?)."

Waxman, who was born in England but now lives in Los Angeles with her three daughters, three dogs, three cats and "one very patient husband," is appearing at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Towne Center Books to discuss and sign her latest novel, "Other People's Houses."

In the book, Frances is the queen of her cul-de-sac's school carpool crew. But when one of her charges sends her to retrieve forgotten school supplies, Frances stumbles on her friend Anne Porter having a 9 a.m. quickie with a younger man who is definitely not her husband.

The idea for the plot grew out of Waxman's own carpooling duties.

"Every time I was sitting in a car pickup line, at school, at camp, at whatever, I was always seized by an overwhelming sense of ennui," Waxman said. "For some reason, sitting in a long line of idling vehicles, waiting for children, is a soul-crushing experience."

After Frances discovers the infidelity, the novel alternates between the perspectives of four families, as the affair unravels the neighborhood and exposes -- to comedic effect -- each household's insecurities, neuroses and strife.

"Part 'Desperate Housewives' and part 'Peyton Place,' Waxman's latest novel still remains wholly original," according to RT Book Reviews. "The compelling peek behind closed doors is simultaneously witty and wince-inducing, and potentially heavy themes are handled with authenticity, charm and a healthy dose of irreverence."

Waxman's first novel was "The Garden of Small Beginnings." She worked in advertising for many years, and says that is where she learned to write fiction.

"Other People's Houses" was published by Berkley Books/Penguin Random House in paperback and sells for $16.

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