Jennifer Reese
April 09, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Good Grief

Current Status
In Season
Lolly Winston

We gave it a C

You’ve met the neurotic, overeating single-gal protagonist of Winston’s soggy first novel in countless Bridget Jones knockoffs. But Sophie Stanton, 36, boasts the distinction of having once persuaded a man to walk down the aisle — and then having lost him to cancer. ”How can I be a widow?” she moans, oozing self-pity. ”Widows wear horn-rimmed glasses and cardigan sweaters that smell like mothballs and have crepe-paper skin and names like Gladys or Midge…” After spending several months devouring whole bags of Oreos in bed — an exhausted chick-lit cliche — Sophie moves from Silicon Valley to Ashland, Ore. Here, she falls for a cleft-chinned stage actor, acquires an eccentric circle of new friends, and opens a cozy, acclaimed bakery in a denouement as cloying and unnutritious as one of her miniature cherry cheesecakes.

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