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Don't Make a Scene    by Valerie Block order for
Don't Make a Scene
by Valerie Block
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2007 (2007)

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Diane Kurasik is reaching a plateau in her life. Her fortieth birthday looms and she's taking stock of that life so far. As if that were not bad enough, she's being evicted from her apartment. Decent flats in a good neighborhood for a reasonable price are non-existent. So she has to settle for horrific sublets in the hope that something she can afford and would actually like to live in will turn up. Oh, God, life is not easy.

Then there's the men department. She has not had luck there either. Friends send her out on blind dates with men they wouldn't be seen dead with. She finally meets Vladimir, a Cuban, who is married but has been separated from his wife for twelve years.

Diane manages a Greenwich Village revival house cinema. The author's knowledge of older movies and the actors and the premise of each movie is encyclopedic awesome, and a great deal of fun to read about. Diane's life seems to revolve around watching movies and trying to find living accommodations. Surely there must be more than that. Vladimir's teenage son appears on the scene and life changes.

Valerie Block delves into the human condition with insight. Rebelling against the lives of her peers tennis, bridge, country clubs and baby sitters Diane is not saying this life is wrong, just not for her. She wants more and struggles to find it. Setbacks only make her try harder to bring her life to where she wants it to be. Don't Make a Scene is a good read from the author of Was It Something I Said?

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