When it Comes to ‘Soulmates’, Make ‘Lower Your Expectations’ Your Mantra


As a 90’s kid growing up in a time when hot pink yogurts with sprinkles and candy were ubiquitous (looking at you, Sprinklin’s, GoGurt, and YoCrunch) and when Lunchables were the ultimate status symbol, I do not think any of us expected that “clean eating” would take hold in the way that it did. Though I’m not ignorant enough not to know that the better part of America remains plagued by an obesity epidemic and that sugar intake continues to rise to harmful levels, it’s also hard to ignore the deluge of juice spots and wellness bloggers that have infiltrated the social media scene. Living in New York City, the trends are hard to ignore, and, as they get increasingly more ridiculous (I tried Ashwaganda powder. It doesn’t do shit), I welcome those unafraid to parody them.

One day, while waiting for my tea to brew at the office, I wandered over to the free table and saw a book called Soulmates. The cover looked vaguely familiar, and I remembered that goop had posted an Instagram about it a few months back. The book is a humorous skewer of yoga and New Age “retreat” culture; I knew I would be remiss not to pick it up.

I must admit that I read Soulmates in the duration of a single train ride to Boston. If you’re looking for a quick and mindless read, by all means, pick it up. But be warned: it wasn’t nearly as funny or tongue-in-cheek as it had the potential to be.

Dana Morrison is a high-powered lawyer, who picks up the Post in her local bodega one morning, only to discover her ex-husband and the woman he left her for on the cover: because both of them are dead—in what the Post reports as a murder-suicide. Ethan, her ex, and Amaya, his new lover, were deeply immersed in the yoga community; so much so that they had moved down to a retreat in a New Mexico to teach full-time, and they ultimately met their demise in a cave in the mountains above the resort.

Dana, ever the perfectionist, does not feel confident leaving the investigation in the hands of the understaffed New Mexico police department, so she goes to the retreat to do some digging herself.

Much like All the Missing Girls, this book just did not do it for me. It had enormous potential, but Grose tried too hard with the twists, which resulted in a plotline that was not only entirely unfeasible, but also uninteresting (at least to me). It read like Sophie Kinsella meets The Girls, but not in a good way; it almost felt as if Grose couldn’t decide how fluffy she wanted the novel to be, and settled with an awkward mixture of chick-lit and sharp wit; two traits that can go hand in hand when done well, but fell flat in this case. Grab it for an entertaining afternoon, but manage your expectations.

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