Ariel Baxter is very thrilled to be moving into the neighborhood of her dreams. A photographer with a growing business, she anticipates that her life will be just about perfect now.

When she meets her new neighbor, Justine Miller, she learns all about perfection. Or thinks she does. This very organized housewife/mother becomes symbolic of Ariel’s dreams of perfection, and she is quite happy to follow Justine’s lead. To choose her as a role model.

But things are not always what they seem, and what looks like perfect could be as unreal as the illusion that one can attain perfection or control everything in one’s universe.

Themes of pedestals, role models, perfection and those illusory idyllic moments in life carry the reader through She Makes It Look Easy: A Novel. In the end, those unrealistic ideals and fantasies become glaringly apparent to Ariel and to the other richly drawn characters that make up the suburban world in which they live.

This story could be a cautionary tale about imagining perfection, or even one about being careful what you wish for. Certainly the characters discover that comparing one’s insides to the outsides of others is an ill-advised task. This interior journey of discovery is well worth the read for those interested in these themes. I gave this one four stars, for even though I enjoyed the characters and their discoveries, there was a hint of judgment that turned me off, just a bit.




  1. I think that many of us go through the “I want to be just like her” stage in our lives … sometimes more than once. Only with maturity and becoming comfortable with ourselves can we step back and realize that no one is perfect, and neither is their life. I like how you pinpoint the essence of this novel. I think I will put it on my to-buy list.


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