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Oh, that we could judge this book by its cover: a hyper-illuminated photo of a hot, young pregnant woman in a tight red dress, printed on thick, waxed-paper stock with folding flaps - let alone its luscious, unbleached raw-edged paper and highly readable type.

Here's an excerpt from an argument between the 37-year-old main protagonist, Amanda, and her 15-year-old daughter, Clover, who stands to inherit $50-million from her estranged father, um, Slade (a.k.a.: ATM Dad):

"Technically, Oliver and I didn't do anything wrong. It didn't mean anything," I sob, sounding even more juvenile.

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"Do not call him Oliver! He's Headmaster Jones! You act like you're so superior to every other mother," Clover yells, clenching her manicured, Sweet Heart-polished fingers into fists. "You act like you're so much better, going on and on about the Richie Riches. But you've never been and you're not now! [Sleeping with]the headmaster is like [sleeping with]the help."

It's clearly not the appropriate time for a lecture on language, or for me to defend Oliver.

"Why couldn't you just sleep with your yoga instructor or the driver, like every other mother?" Clover fumes. "Why can't you ever be normal?"

Normal? Right.

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