As a therapist, writer, and, most recently, cancer patient (she had surgery in early 2007), Pearlman is interested in survival. "What makes people heal? How can we overcome tragedy?" she asks. "Nobody escapes unscathed. We have all struggled."
When her husband left her, she recalls, her women friends--often bringing food--helped her get through. The publication of and acclaim for Infidelity (her publishing house nominated it for a Pulitzer) was also healing.
Simon & Schuster is doing a massive publicity blitz for The Christmas Cookie Club this month. Pearlman has already met with movie producer Wendy Finerman (Forest Gump, The Devil Wears Prada) and lobbied to film the movie in Ann Arbor (there's no word yet on that). Early reviews have been mixed--Entertainment Weekly graded it C+--but online reader comments have been more enthusiastic.