This is perhaps my favorite modern novel. Unlike Crusie's later works, it's basically just fun - no underlying explorations of the pain of divorce or the masks we wear - just fun. As always Crusie isn't afraid we won't love her imperfect characters, who learn to accept each other's imperfections, also. Nick and Tess bounce through the early pages of the book like pinballs - attracted and repelled by each other simultaneously - until they work through their problems. They are surrounded by richly realized family and friends. Few romances have as satisfying a mystery subplot. As with all Crusie novels, there are sentences that must be rolled around on the tongue and savored.
And you can make a meal off the meals in the book, from the jittery house party dinner that sets the mystery in motion to the hilarious evening at the pretentious restaurant that "reveals all," with plenty of take out Chinese in between.
Like the characters, the book has some flaws. It needs a prequel to explain how Tess and Nick kept their friendship going and provide more evidence of Nick's career obsession. And, trust me on this, no liberal, no one who lived in a low-income neighborhood and worked with semi-delinquent youth, would suggest becoming a district attorney as a first choice for a good-guy lawyer - child support enforcement, public defender or environmental law are much more likely.
Sadly, in today's polarized politics, the likelihood of two people bridging the red state-blue state divide is even smaller than in 1994 when this book was published.
Give this book a try, and then read, What the Lady Wants, which is nearly as funny and fun.