KlaffkeImagine a newspaper columnist who is part Joan Rivers (RIP) and part Edina Monsoon from “Absolutely Fabulous.” Now imagine this newspaper columnist is your mother.

In Pamela Klaffke’s second novel, Every Little Thing, the protagonist, Mason McDonald, doesn’t have to imagine. Her mother was the notorious Britt Castleman, a San Francisco-based gossip columnist who ruthlessly informed her readers about the filthy rich upper-crust high-society types and their salacious scandals. She also wrote extensively about her daughter, and no detail was too juicy (or mortyifying) to reveal.

As Every Little Thing begins, Mason has returned home to San Francisco from her chosen refuge in a remote Canadian town to attend her mother’s funeral. Britt couldn’t even die like a normal mother. Instead, mommy dearest died while having plastic surgery on a rather delicate area. Mason is not glad to be back, nor is she glad to confront her mother’s past.

Facing unplanned motherhood herself, Mason becomes the subject of quite the disgrace after a chance meeting with an editor gets her an online column. Mason also gets involved with a cheesy reality TV show that focuses on different mother archetypes. Mason is the “bad” mother, and her unconventional life is quite the talk of the town — and the Internet.

Caught up in notoriety, gossip, and all-around tawdriness, Mason realizes she can’t escape her mother’s shadow. And, despite doing everything in her power to differentiate herself from her mother, Mason realizes she has ended up just like her. Maybe this will force her to finally grow up. Or maybe it won’t. All Mason knows is she’s got a lot of self-examination to do for herself and her unborn child.

Mason can be a difficult character to like. She’s self-absorbed and sour. She can’t handle her childhood friends growing up and moving beyond their rebellious high school years. She hates her friend Janet’s boyfriend simply for being a much older man. But as Every Little Thing progresses, Mason begins to mature and to accept reality. She becomes a bit more self-aware, yet still retains a snarky sense of humor. She can piss you off, but you also want to root for her.

Every Little Thing is fast-paced and engrossing with vivid characters. It’s a perfect read for anyone who is addicted to dramatic and over-the-top reality TV, who has a weird obsession from everyone who has a weird obsession with D-list stars, and who can’t make it through the day without checking for updates on TMZ or Perez Hilton.

 Every Little Thing wasn’t written to transform your life. It’s here to entertain, and it achieves just that.

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