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The Perfect Elizabeth

This modern-day Sense and Sensibility is a witty and hilarious story about two sisters: Liza, a would be poet who spends miserable days as a legal secretary; and Bette, a graduate student writing her dissertation on Toast in the English Novel. Bette has taken to eating only that which the characters she is writing about would eat: nice cups of tea, boiled egg on toast, mincemeat...Liza's a bit concerned. She's also worried about the status of her relationship with her actor boyfriend Gregor. They're not living together, and that's a problem. Then there's the issue of Liza's career, or the lack thereof. Can dog-walking be considered a vocation? Liza's beginning to think so. Mercifully, Bette is merely a local phone call away. Throughout this sassy novel, the sisters deal with unemployment, infidelity, interfering parents, Hollywood, lemmings, a pregnancy, and a wedding. The Perfect Elizabeth is as indulgent and cathartic as a pint of Haagen-Dazs.

Praise for The Perfect Elizabeth


"Schmais whips up a luscious, frothy tale of Gen-X love. . . . Unlike Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones, these sisters aren't over the top. They're very much the girls next door. . . . The Perfect Elizabeth is the kind of book women will read, then tuck into the shoulder bag of their closest friend or officemate."-USA Today
"Hilarious and heartwarming." -Cosmopolitan
Anyone who has ever been of two (or more) minds about something, occasionally feels small in a big world, wonders what it means to be a family, or struggled with forgiveness will enjoy this nifty little book." -Associated Press

The Essential Charlotte

Charlotte thought she was fine. After a childhood spent traveling around the world with her eccentric artist mother, she is content to have a quiet life, make herbal remedies, and play video games.
But when her mother dies in a bizarre sculpture accident, Charlotte's life is turned upside down. Before she even has time to grasp the reality of her mother's death, her supposedly dead father appears and they are forced to live together to satisfy the terms of her mother's will.
Reluctantly living in Soho with a father she has never met before, Charlotte begins to change in unexpected ways, even pursing her hidden desire to take acting class.
Will Charlotte survive her mother's legacy, let alone a year with this stranger? Are there enough herbal remedies in the world to save her?
In The Essential Charlotte, author Libby Schmais displays the same warmth, wit, and honesty that created so many fans of The Perfect Elizabeth. At its core, The Essential Charlotte is a novel about family and the strange and marvelous ways that it makes you who you are.

Praise for The Essential Charlotte

A certain authenticity of voice, a quality that sets it apart from many novels written for a popular audience-Boston Globe

Lively and quick witted, this story of friendship and the vicissitudes of parental love presents to the reader a tale of unexpected and original turns, all intelligently rendered-Elizabeth Strout, author of Amy and Isabelle

The Essential Charlotte delves a bit deeper into interpersonal relationships than most chick lit books do. Charlotte's life changes radically, and through that process she learns who "The Essential Charlotte" really is - and she forges a cautious relationship with her father along the way. While The Essential Charlotte is an entertaining read and it will appeal to most fans of women's fiction and chick lit - Curled up with a Good Book

Buy The Essential Charlotte