Can't Stop Reading

Lucky for me I get a hefty discount at work, because I just can't seem to stop myself!

Friday, April 07, 2006

So I'm thinking it's about time for a non-kids book post, eh? Wendy French's third book is called After the Rice. I'm gonna tell you right now, this is chick lit, so if you're not interested, come back tomorrow or something. Anyways, I have read all of French's books so far. They are all set in the Northwest, and feature frazzled heroines, pulled in multiple directions by demanding families. I was particularly excited about this one because it's set right here in Victoria! I was a little disappointed on that front though, as really the only city specific mentions were that Megan's parents live in Uplands, and she goes to UVic.

Other than that small disappointment, it's a pretty interesting read. Megan is recently married to Matt, a librarian. Though they have decided between themselves that they are not interested in ever having kids, they haven't exactly told their families, who are on hyper-baby watch. The main thrust of the story is that thanks to interfering prescriptions (remember ladies, antibiotics and birth control don't mix!) Megan finds herself pregnant. And this is where I think this book stands out from the crowd. Matt and Megan have to decide what to do. Do they stick to their guns about not having kids and get an abortion? Or do they give in to everyone's expectations and have a baby. Matters are not helped by the fact that Megan is stuck babysitting her niece Jillienn (aka the Pink Terror) who can alternately scream loud enough to power a small city, and be adorable enough to almost make Megan want to be a mother.

I have to say, I have always enjoyed chick lit, but it has always been a problem for me that the story-lines have been so simple. Girl meets nice boy, they are just friends, girl meets sexy asshole boy, they hook up, they break up, and girl ends up with nice boy who loved her all along. So boring! So lately I have been noticing a bit of an expansion in theme, which I think is great. Because its fun to read about women about my age, who have the same kind of issues that I have. Not that I have had a pregnancy scare! But you know what I mean. There was actually a really interesting essay about this in the New York Times Book Review a few weeks ago. It was about the internationalization of chick lit, and how different cultures have taken chick lit and made it their own. Another book that I think has recently done an amazing job of this is Citizen Girl. It's by those women who wrote Nanny Diaries, which I didn't really like. However, their new one takes the really interesting premise of a young woman who considers herself a feminist, and what kinds of compromises she has to make for work and in her relationships.

I love that I can now read books about young women with issues beyond how to get a guy to marry them.

After the Rice by Wendy French
ISBN 0765313766
256 pages

Citizen Girl by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus
ISBN 0743266862
320 pages


  • At 12:05 PM, Anonymous Kim said…

    Whoa. Whoa. You mean, my goal here ISN'T just to find a man who will marry me?

    Ah, shit.

  • At 12:14 PM, Blogger bookstore girl said…

    Kim, you have been sadly led astray by the likes of Sophie Kinsella!


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