This summer I devoured books from this year’s bestseller list and last year’s bestseller list and freshly reviewed from the New York Times. Chick lit and sort-of-dark books. Read electronically for the first time from my mom’s left-behind Nook, lugged around books from the library, and borrowed one from a friend. I loved them all and here’s why (broken up into two blog posts):
Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan: Set near my town outside Boston and hence-the-name, Maine, I could relate to the places and the women: I loved each and every character for a different reason: especially the dyed in the wool- New England matriarch Alice. Also by Sullivan: Commencement focused on a group of friends from Smith College.
Silver Girl by Elin Hilderbrand: My guilty pleasure, all of HIlderbrand’s books are set on Nantucket. I read one after the other this year and like any series, they start to sound alike in a good and bad way. You can count on a character who cooks delicious meals, someone who drinks Sancerre and many references to places on Nantucket. Silver Girl was my least favorite but still fun to read: in this novel, a thinly disguised fictional version of Ruth Madoff escapes to Nantucket to stay with an old friend. Silver Girl made me feel some empathy for Ruth and believe it or not, not feel as sorry for a few of her husband’s victims, who were still living large after his arrest.
Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner: While Silver Girl was my least favorite HIlderbrand novel, Then Came You was my favorite Jennifer Weiner book. It’s the story of a college girl who sells her eggs to fund her father’s rehab, a surrogate who carries a baby to help her one income military family get a little bit ahead financially and the golddigger-esque woman who has helped herself get ahead but needs someone to carry her baby. The only typical Jennifer Weiner character (an insecure-about-her-weight-woman) was the sugar daddy’s daughter. Every woman I know has been personally or knows someone who has had to resort to some form of fertility assistance and this story puts a face to the family’s behind each part of the process. Don’t miss the interview with the author note at the end: Weiner’s inspiration for the story and the debate over women authors getting a fair shake in the New York Times Book Review.
For the next post, a little heavier reading…