|Ever felt envious of those svelte pregnant actresses with nary a
stretch mark or extra pound in sight? If so, Gucci Gucci Coo is the perfect revenge fantasy.
Ruby Silverman manages an exclusive baby boutique in London's up-
scale Notting Hill. She sells designer baby wear and outrageously
expensive pregnancy outfits to Hollywood stars and wealthy mothers.
She has a hard time dealing with anorexic model types who care more
about their looks than their fetus's welfare. An efficient business
woman, she would rather be marketing organic clothes and promoting
fair trade. But work is work, and until she can put together her own
project she does what she has to.
Like most single women, Ruby has an active social life and spends a
lot of time exchanging stories with her friends. Her fifty-year-old
mother is pregnant. Her upbeat Cockney employee can't conceive. Her
best friend's actor husband is out of work. Her flamboyant aunt is
mustering up the courage to tell her latest paramour how old she
really is. Oh, and there's this stunning American gynecologist Ruby
keeps running into on her regular visits to St Luke's maternity ward.
Just when things between Ruby and Sam Epstein seem to be going
somewhere, she begins to wonder whether he isn't implicated in the
odd goings-on at the hospital. She is more and more suspicious that
not all the celebrity moms are as pregnant as they appear and that
the hospital is involved in a strange cover-up. Sam's secretive
stance doesn't help much.
Ruby is wonderfully warm, humorous and entertaining. Aside from her
bad run of dates, she has none of the hang-ups of the average Chick
Lit heroine. Instead she has a great supporting cast. A large number
of people wander in and out of the story, but we never lose track of
who is who thanks to characteristic idiom and dialect. Margolis draws
on stereotypes (the New Age mother, the public school boy, the self-
obsessed actress) and ethnic types (the Irish mother-in-law, the
Jewish retailer, the Ukrainian handyman), but she doesn't entirely
fall back on them.
There are a few laugh-out-loud observations and some really
distinctive dialogue. Oddly enough, this is mostly when the secondary
characters are involved. When the leads speak, they tend to be more
stilted and even repetitive. It's nice that Ruby likes to share her
adventures with her many friends, but does she have to recycle the
same story over and over and over? I got tired of hearing about the
stamp stuck in her vagina, her dreadful blind date and her pregnant
menopausal mother. I also could have done without all the moralizing
about eating well during pregnancy.
The pace picks up in the second half, when Ruby begins to
investigate. Truth be told, there's not much mystery and suspense
here. But with such funny, earthy and authentic characters, it really
doesn't matter. For light-hearted escapism and laid-back beach
reading, it doesn't get much better.