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Flirting in Cars [Paperback]

Alisa Kwitney

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Book Description

Aug. 7 2007
From Alisa Kwitney, the acclaimed author of Sex as a Second Language and The Dominant Blonde, comes a witty, romantic, and compassionate new novel about an urban working mom who leaves the city only to find her talents are no match for country life.

An accomplished journalist, Zoë Goren can't drive and she doesn't cook. But that's never been a problem in Manhattan, where the streets are filled with taxis and takeout restaurants, and a busy single mother can find everything she needs right at her fingertips. In fact, Zoë can't imagine living or working anyplace else. But when Zoë's daughter is diagnosed with dyslexia, she decides to make the ultimate sacrifice, moving two hours from Manhattan in order to enroll Maya in an excellent school for children with learning differences. Stranded in a rural paradise, Zoë must grapple with isolation, coyote howls, and the lack of good delivery services. But when she decides to overcome her fear of driving and take lessons, she meets Mack, an unnervingly attractive townie, back from the war in Iraq and trying to adjust to civilian life. With a budding new romance and a reporting gig for the local paper, Zoë just might survive in the wilderness of small-town America after all.

One of today's best breakout authors, who has been called "witty, charming, funny, and real" by Carly Phillips, Alisa Kwitney creates authentic characters that women love to read about -- and talk about. Zoë Goren will have them rooting for her all the way.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press; 1 edition (Aug. 7 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743268970
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743268974
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,942,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Flirting in Cars is a modern-day fairy tale about finding happily-ever-after where you least expect it. I couldn't put it down."

-- Karen Quinn, author of The Ivy Chronicles and Wife in the Fast Lane

"This exciting tease of a novel will set your heart pounding like the best love affair. Smart, funny, sexy -- I loved it!"

-- Pamela Redmond Satran, author of The Man I Should Have Married and Suburbanistas

"Alisa Kwitney's cross-cultural love story is intelligent, funny, and sexy."

-- Thelma Adams, Us Weekly

About the Author

Alisa Kwitney is the author of On the Couch, Does She or Doesn't She?, The Dominant Blonde, Till the Fat Lady Sings, and the forthcoming Flirting in Cars. Her books have been translated into Russian, German, and Japanese. A former comic book editor with DC Comics/Vertigo, Kwitney holds an M.F.A. in fiction writing from Columbia University. She lives with her family in the Hudson River Valley and New York City. Visit her website at www.alisakwitney.com.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sensual and heartwarming Sept. 4 2008
By Tracy Vest - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Free lance writer Zoe Goren embraces her inner Eva Gabor and gives up her native Manhattan for upstate New York for a year to ensure that her daughter Maya gets the best education. Of course, Zoe is a total fish out of water - she doesn't cook, she orders in; she doesn't drive, she takes public transportation. She is not really prepared for life in the country, but it soon grows on her, as does younger man Mack, a Gulf veteran with a fear of crowds and a deep attraction to the city girl. She hires Mack to drive her around but he soon coaxes her into driving lessons. Despite their different lifestyles and age gap, the two are smitten. But what'll happen to the relationship when Maya's reading improves and Zoe wants to move back to civilization?

Kwitney first three novels were more comical and sensuous and with her second more serious novel, she proves that she can handle both genres. While the subject matter is more serious, she gives Zoe a sense of humor that emerges through her vulnerability, making her a more human character. In addition to dealing with Maya's dyslexia, she also has to contend with the disintegration of her own relationship with her parents who disowned her when she had a baby out of wedlock, taking on a local politician who has sold out his constituents, forging new friendships, as well as facing her own fears and phobias. I found the story to be sensual and heartwarming at the same time, relishing the relationship between mother and daughter as they both grow so much in a town they didn't realize would have such an effect on them.

© Tracy Vest, September 2008
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book Review Aug. 10 2007
By Austen Fan - Published on Amazon.com
I just read Alisa Kwitney's latest book, "Flirting in Cars," and I couldn't put it down -- until I had to because I'd finished it. It's a funny and insightful look at relationships between city and country people, men and women, and parents and children. It's a romantic comedy grounded in the reality of country living. The characters are interesting and convincing, perhaps because unlike most in this genre, the author shows them working and parenting, not just flirting. There's a lot of flirting and more too, of course, but the real fun of the book is in the dialogue. Kwitney, like Austen, has the gift of revealing characters (their weaknesses, their aspirations) through conversations. She has a keen but empathetic eye, whether it be looking at two vets bonding over fixing a car or a gaggle of mothers at a private school cocktail party. Highly recommended to distract you from whatever chores you ought to be attending to instead.
5.0 out of 5 stars Original Feb. 4 2014
By Lois Feron - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I found out about this author from a Cusie reference. Kwitney's books precede and possibly set the style for author's like Cusie and Gibbons. That's just a guess. Kwitney's books aren't as smooth as her followers but her books aim higher and for this genre, deeper. I think she's really "got it" and I'm sorry that she quit writing romances like these after she wrote about four of them. They are available in paperback and worth grabbing before the supply runs out.
5.0 out of 5 stars There's more there than the title implies Feb. 22 2013
By Klara B. Sauer - Published on Amazon.com
Alisa Kwitney's FLIRTING IN CARS packs far more punch than the title implies. I expected a fluffy romance novel and found so much more: an intelligent, enormously readable book, peopled with interesting characters from the Big Apple and the countryside. The story pivots around the protagonist Zoe, a single-mom city girl who moves to the country but can't drive - and Mack, an at-loose-ends Gulf War veteran from upstate New York who gives her driving lessons.

I live in a small village and found the vivid juxtapositions, prejudices, and expectations of urbanites versus upstate country folk particularly interesting and priceless. Yes, and the ensuing romance and sex are delicious too. This is a fun, thoroughly enjoyable read - I couldn't put it down.

Klara S.
4.0 out of 5 stars The Fun Parts of a City Girl Thrown into the Country Feb. 20 2008
By Bethany - Published on Amazon.com
Alisa Kwitney's FLIRTING IN CARS--and it was a book that delivered exactly what the cover ordered--a little hope, humor, sensitivity, and of course romance. Who could ask for anything more?

First and foremost the book focuses on the relationship of Zoe Goren and her daughter Maya. Because that is the reason Zoe is ripped from her favorite place of all time--the city. She's a single mom looking out for her daughter (and her daughter's education with dyslexia) so they head from middle of the city, to smack dab into the country. But not without some difficulty. And when I say difficulty, culture shock is only half of it. Zoe can't drive. Oh and wild animals? Yeah, not so friendly when they are in your house. Even if you do have a cat around.

This book delivered a lot of punch for its 323 pages. I fell in love with Zoe. Her honesty, bluntness, and to-hell-with-you attitude (listen, this woman? Yeah, she knows what she wants and goes after it. No excuses made). And her daughter Maya. Well, I think every woman can identify with her self-confidence issues. I mean who likes to be 13 and not fit in? No one. Then suddenly you find yourself fitting in somewhere... well it can only be called sweetness. And this is where the book thrives. Mother/daughter relationships. Parenting, and how we make some tough choices sometimes, that can hinder dreams and hopes we thought we had. It's all there, wrapped in this great relationship of a hard-working, dedicated mom and her daughter (I can only hope for so much with my daughter).

But I am forgetting something. The whole Out-of-City aspect of the book! Hey, I did the opposite. I moved from the rural Upper Peninsula of Michigan and landed myself in Chicago. Sure it was the 'Burbs, but for anyone that has done that little conversion. It's city. It took me 2 years to feel comfortable roaming the skyscraper, cement clad streets on my own. Now, I'm sad to not be in the concrete regularly. Kwitney also does a good job at creating the isolation that one feels by feeling like an outsider in a small (or big) town. Everything is so unfamiliar--foreign even. And coming from a small town, her whole feelings of being the outsider? Not such a stretch. I feel like that when I go home now. Once you leave the rural... well, it's hard going back. And Zoe had never been there (or wanted to go there) in the first place.

Oh--but does she have a surprise in store for her. First there is Mack (he's the romantic interest). Then there is Frances and Gretchen--also transplanted city folk--that, well, help Zoe's isolation issues. And of course a slew of other characters. They keep the country interesting and sorta sway Zoe away from her beloved city. Or at least as much as they can.

And this might be my only complaint with the book. The transition. It takes a BUNCH longer than a year to realize the country/city can work for anyone, you just need to find your place. Hell, it's taken me 10 years to finally find the common ground that works from me (I am 40 minutes from the city. And that is just fine by me). Less than a year and Zoe's completely happy with her beginning driver status, found Mack, and well given her career a face lift? A little like a sitcom. At least in novel form.

But please, don't let that deter you. The characters here are fun, playful, and definitely what keep you reading. The alternating points of view of Zoe and Mack are fun. Sexy. Hot. And well... just read the book. Let's just say, the sex is good (oops, sorry, a bit of a spoiler there). And the relationships all around are believable and definitely make for a wonderfully witty adventure that will make you beg to see where these characters DO land in about 5 years. I mean does Zoe land in the country forever?

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