Women authors have engaged in comedy of manners of manners since Fanny Burney's novels went public. There is nothing wrong with Hillary Jordan continuing the tradition in her kindle single "Aftermirth" Consciously recognized or not, Ms. Jordan offers her readers a feminine rendition of Erich Segal's short lived romantic franchise. Michael Larssen is a modern Ryan O'Neal, a comedian who prospers briefly under the auspices of Jess, the love of his life who dies in a horribly funny fashion.
Michael wallows in the anger of his grief until he decides to get over it through finding bereaved individuals in similar circumstances, including a therapist who looks like Angelina Jordan's references to contemporary entertainment culture and its figures, like Jolie, or Jon Stewart, feel rushed, if not quite forced, because the author needs the money, a problem that bedevils most authors not safely ensconced in creative writing departments. It is nothing new.
The reason it is problematic, at least in terms of digital pressure driving manuscript prices downward, is because it dilutes the ambition of the woman writers voice still trying to engage in the world of ideas, with its patriarchal thrust and counter thrust.
Jordan's storytelling is not all bad. Michael's diction keeps a lively pace, and the climax of the story, led by the Jolie look-alike, offers mature readers saddened by loss an outlet. What it does for legacy is another matter. In the same way that Segal's sentimentality over a fatal cancer is dated and over the top, the question needs to be raised as to whether Jordan's painfully funny stuff will be relevant twenty years hence.