Helen of Pasadena

Helen of Pasadena

by Lian Dolan


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Helen Fairchild is leading a privileged Pasadena existence: married to a pillar of the community; raising a water polo-playing son destined for the most select high school; volunteering her time on the most fashionable committees. It only bothers Helen a tiny bit the she has never quite fit in with the proper Pasadena crowd, never finished that graduate degree in Classics, and never had that second baby. But the rigid rules of society in Pasadena appeal to Helen, the daughter of Oregon "fiber artists," even if she'll never be on the inside.

And then along comes a Rose Parade float, killing her philandering husband and leaving Helen broke, out of her "forever' house and scrambling to salvage her once-rarefied existence.

Enter Dr. Patrick O'Neill, noted archaeologist, excavator of Troy and wearer of nubby sweaters. A job as Dr. O'Neill’s research assistant is the lifeline Helen needs to reinvent herself, both personally and professionally. Ancient mysteries to solve! Charity events to plan! School admissions advisors to charm! If Helen wasn't so distracted by her incredibly attractive boss, she might be able to pull off this new life.

Helen's world widens to include a Hollywood star, a local gossip columnist, an old college nemesis, a high-powered Neutron Mom, an unforgiving school headmistress , the best Armenian real state agent in the biz, and, of course, the intriguing Patrick O'Neill. While uncovering secrets about ancient Troy alongside her archaeologist boss, Helen discovers something much more: a new sense of self and a new love.

With it's keen social observations, laugh-out-loud scenes and whip-smart dialogue, Helen of Pasadena reads like a roman à clef and unfolds like a romantic comedy. Along the way, this novel delivers humor, insight and wisdom on reinventing yourself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780984410224
Publisher: Prospect Park Books
Publication date: 11/01/2010
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 338,686
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Lian Dolan is the wise and very witty woman behind the Chaos Chronicles, a podcast with 50,000 downloads a month and a blog with 50,000 readers a month. With her four real sisters, she created the Satellite Sisters, a talk show, blog and website; during its years as a radio show, the Satellite Sisters won 8 Gracie Allen Awards. Lian was the principal author of Satellite Sisters UnCommon Senses, published in 2001 by Riverhead. She also writes for Oprah.com and has written for O, The Oprah Magazine, Working Mother and others, and she has appeared on such TV shows as The Today Show and Oprah.

Read an Excerpt

Now I knew: I'd get a full church at my funeral. What a relief. It was the kind of thing I lost sleep over at night, being a planner and all. How many times had I sat at funerals, counting the hundreds (or, more depressingly, dozens) of mourners in the pews and thought, (continued)

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