Lennon, Maria T.
Lennon, Maria T.
PERSONAL: Born in CA; married; children: three. Education: London School of Economics, degree (with honors), 1990.
CAREER: Writer. International School, Genoa, Italy, teacher of creative writing and English; writer for a travel magazine; associate editor for a travel Web site.
Making It Up as I Go Along (novel), Shave Areheart Books (New York, NY), 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: Maria T. Lennon drew from her own life while writing her debut novel Making It Up as I Go Along. Like her protagonist, Saffron Roch, Lennon came from an upper-class background in California and traveled widely until becoming pregnant. In the novel, the father of Saffron's child is her unfaithful lover. She must leave her work as a journalist in wartorn Sierra Leone to head to London, and then California, where she unexpectedly inherits a multimillion-dollar estate from her adoptive mother. Her half-brother, disinherited by his birth mother, seems strangely unruffled about being cut out of the will, but as time passes, it becomes clear that he is not as passive as he seems. Saffron finds that reporting on civil war is easier to cope with than the demands of single motherhood in Malibu, but she does get support from an unlikely group of friends, including some "trophy wives" of wealthy older men, all of whom are also new to motherhood. Her story becomes more complicated when she learns that a mysterious African man she loved is in danger of execution.
A Publishers Weekly reviewer judged Making It Up as I Go Along "a winning mix of humor and suspense." Elizabeth Blakesley Lindsay, reviewing the book for Library Journal, called it "deeper than many typical chick-lit novels." The pressures of new motherhood have been examined in many other books, as Mia Geiger pointed out in her Denver Post online review, but "thanks to a thoroughly likable, witty-yet-insecure heroine desperately trying to make the best decisions, along with an absence of sentimental mush in the storytelling, the author makes a familiar topic feel fresh."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2005, review of Making It Up as I Go Along, p. 377.
Library Journal, March 1, 2005, Elizabeth Blakesley Lindsay, review of Making It Up as I Go Along, p. 79.
Publishers Weekly, May 16, 2005, review of Making It Up as I Go Along, p. 37.
Denver Post Online, http://www.denverpost.com/ (September 20, 2005), Mia Geiger, review of Making It Up as I Go Along.