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Where is Joe Merchant? That's what his sister Trevor Kane, the
hemorrhoid ointment heiress, wants to know. For South Seas psychic
Desdemona, Merchant is the missing link needed to connect her with other
worlds. And the mystery of the presumed dead but often-sighted rock
star's disappearance is turning renegade seaplane pilot Frank Bama's
life upside down. Jimmy Buffet fans will be enchanted with this
modern-day pirate tale.
Blythe Young - a wannabe Texas princess, a heroine as plucky, driven, and desperate as Vanity Fair's Becky Sharp - is plummeting precipitously from up- to downstairs, banging her head on every step of the Austin social ladder as she falls. Not unlike the country as a whole, Blythe has surrendered to a multitude of dubious moral choices and is now facing the disastrous consequences: bankruptcy, public humiliation, a teensy fondness for the pharmaceuticals, and no Pap smear for ten years. But worst of all, she is forced to move back into the fleabag co-op boardinghouse where she lived when she was a student at the University of Texas.

Though Blythe cares much more about the ravaged state of her nails, and how to get the ingredients for Code Warrior - Blythe's proprietary blend of Stoli, Ativan, and Red Bull that keeps everything in focus - her soul is hanging in the balance. Only when she is in danger of losing the one friend who's been her true moral center is she ready to face her sins and make amends.

And her penance is merciless: she must find a way to lure her former socialite friends into the tofu tenement she has been reduced to. Little does Blythe know that the ensuing collision between the pierced, tattooed, and dreadlocked inhabitants and the pampered, Kir-sipping socialites offers the only hope of finding a way out of her moral quagmire.

Funny, fast-paced, sharp-eyed, an old-fashioned morality tale with an appropriately twenty-first-century ending, How Perfect Is That is a comic triumph of a novel.