Through her unconventional psychotherapy sessions, Susan Lederer is probably the only woman in New York who can put a positive spin on the concept of shrinking in a laundry room. Amid the washers and dryers, she counsels her fellow tenants through numerous emotional crises, successfully helping them take the steps toward realizing their greatest potential, and even finding romance.
Among her clients are the crusty but elegant widow Faith; the aloof ballerina Talia; Meriel, the West Indian housekeeper for the building’s most obnoxious yuppie couple; Amy, a totally frazzled new mom; chic club owners Claude and Naomi, who more than anything else want to get married and adopt a Chinese baby; Gia, the gypsy superintendent’s tarot-reading wife; and spunky, loveable Alice Finnegan (the heroine of Carroll’s TEMPORARY INSANITY), who, thanks to Susan, is getting on with her life after a major emotional upheaval.
But like Austen’s Emma, Susan can’t seem to apply her do-gooder advice to herself. Beneath the upbeat veneer, her own life is a total mess. Her troublesome teenage daughter becomes even more so by the day; and her perfect husband may be far less fabulous than he appears. She could really use a good therapist!
When her comfortable world collapses and her own dirty linen is exposed, Susan’s loyal clients rally around to supply the sympathy and support she’s offered them for so long. By the final spin, when every one of the women is about to embark on a new life cycle, Susan learns that while it may not take a whole village, sometimes it does take a laundry room!
. . . an exuberant ode to friendship among women and the need for affordable mental health care (at least in New York City). . . . Carroll handles her material with wit and wisdom.