I wish there was a nice way to explain this book without invoking the words "chick lit." But there isn't.
That said, Weiner's work is some of the best in the genre. It gives you the warm fuzzies, it features young women in New York, but it's not completely predictable.
This one tackles the world of infertility, from egg donation, to IVF, to surrogacy. Women's lives intersect. Things get a bit tense, there are several red herrings, and ultimately, a happy (and unbelievable) ending. It's a decent beach read, but I wouldn't say it's more than that.
I liked this book. It read like very (very) light and accessible version of Unless by Carol Shields. It features an aging writer-narrator, still dealing with the sudden death of her spouse a year ago, who must also face her writer's block while navigating her relationship with her adult daughter (who often finds her exasperating).
The best thing about this book is the voice of the writer/narrator. She's appealing, and I felt like I could relate to her, even though she's more my mother's age than my own. I'd recommend this, but I'd warn readers not to expect too much.
This is probably one of the "best" books I read all week, in that it is very well written, and very literary, but I'm not sure it's mainstream or accessible enough to warrant a full-on endorsement.
Title character - Limone (aka Lemon) is a 16 year old girl with a whole lot of angst. No false optimism for her. Sounds predictable, but it's not. For one thing, the book's written in a stream-of-consciousness-esque teen-speak that twists and turns in unpredictable ways. For another, the basic plot is ultimately WAY more upsetting than any teen-focused book you're likely to encounter in the main stream. Expect disturbing sexual assaults, for one thing.
My one quibble is that I'm not 100% convinced that teens like Lemon even exist. She's a bit too literature/history obsessed. A bit too Holden Caulfiend. As I said, this book isn't for everyone, but I do think it's good. It was on the Giller Long List. Make of that what you well.
This is definitely the weirdest book I read all week. The premise is this: protagonist Gordon Small dies and (failing to notice his death) seeks new employment. He gets a post-mortem job at Heaven -- the world's foremost publisher of romance novels.
The rest of the book is about Gordon realizing he's dead and trying to figure out exactly how "Heaven" works. It's kind of funny, I guess. And ultimately pretty light.
In the end, however, I'm not sure what to make of it. I thought the book was okay, but I didn't feel edified by it. I finished reading on the plane ride home and closed the cover thinking... nothing. Little about it resonated.
The book's strangeness makes it kind of interesting, but even having finished it, I'm on the fence about whether I liked it or not.
Anyway. There you have it. Four more mini-reviews to round off my week of holiday reading. I've begun Eve Ensler's Insecure At Last now, but I'm not sure how that's going to go. I think I need a book break. I sort of feel like watching TV and reading some magazines instead.