"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Qualify of Life Report by Meghan Daum

Lucinda Trout works for a local morning show in Manhattan, surrounded by vain, appalling Sex In The City wannabes, and a Devil Wears Prada-esque boss. That's where the chick lit similarities end. Lucinda doesn't WANT to remain immersed in the shallow pool, she's looking for a more simple life. Her chance arrives when the show sends her to the deepest Midwest to report on "housewife heroin", a new drug that COULD BE COMING TO NEW YORK! Her boss loves the cheap, tabloid-y angle of the story, but stresses that Lucinda should avoid showing fat Prairie City residents on camera. Christiane Amanpour she isn't.

Lucinda is so dissatisfied with her life in Manhattan, and so surprised by the friendly, cool people she meets on location in Prairie City, that she decides to move there. By convincing her boss that she can report remotely on the unique "quality of life" inherent in the heartland, she manages to keep her job and her ties to the city. But life isn't quite as simple as she thinks...

I laughed with Lucinda as she gets herself into increasingly more ridiculous situations - my favorite scene involves throwing a "barn party" using the residents of Prairie City as props, and a Manhattan stylist who sends precise instructions regarding the appropriate apparel for Lucinda's human mannequins - but in the end, Lucinda learns that relocating doesn't make life simpler at all.

The Quality of Life Report is a classic fish out of water story with a twist.

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