BY KATHY KAHN
If you’re looking for a book for backyard or beach reading now that the sun has finally come out, “City Mouse,” a novel about moving to suburbia from New York City that hit bookstores June 6, may be just the read you need.
“It’s about the guilty pleasures of moms behaving badly,” said Stacey Lender of her first book, which is set in Suffern, where the author grew up. “Every year, people are moving out of the city because they can’t afford it—they want a house with closets and a backyard—but it’s a big adjustment.
“I was at a college reunion, and the moms were talking about going away on vacation together to cheat on their husbands. I wondered what prompted them to do it. That was the same time my husband and I talked about moving to the suburbs. The debate and struggle are very personal to me. “City Mouse” delves into the issues of adjusting and assimilating in suburbia.”
While writing the story, she learned about the part Suffern played in the American Revolution from Village Historian Craig Long, who filled her in on the exploits of Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton while they stayed there. “I learned more about the village’s history from my visit than all the years I lived there,” said the author.
“It’s meant to be an easy read, not serious or preachy,” continued Lender. “The story is fiction but based on some of my own experiences with women who moved to have a backyard, bigger closets and better schools for the kids. When you’re just out for a joy ride, it may be a half-hour trip. The grass looks greener and the houses are appealing—but when you’re getting on a train or bus to get to work, it’s a different story—it’s a few hours each way, each day, and it just wasn’t for me or my family. So, we decided to stay in the city and live without the backyard or big closets–and the commute.”