I’ll admit that I enjoy reading “women’s fiction” even though I detest the term, “women’s fiction.” Whe...moreRead the full review at Tales Between the Pages
I’ll admit that I enjoy reading “women’s fiction” even though I detest the term, “women’s fiction.” When I found this book on Edelweiss, I knew I wanted to read it. I dove in with the expectation of encountering quirky female characters who eat alone at their desks every day.
What I encountered were quirky characters who I couldn’t relate to. There were moments when I found the main character, Alex, interesting. I’m an avid reader of the website, Jezebel, and ChickHabit reminded me much of it. Since I dabble in internet writing, I found Alex’s obsession with her job highly interesting. I often fantasize about sitting at home and writing all day. If I do reach that point, I hope I don’t end up like Alex — strung out, obsessive, and highly suspicious. She gets so consumed with her job that it ruins her relationships. The plot felt contrived and I ended up disliking the characters.
This book surprised me. I came into it having watched the movie, which was very light hearted. The firs...moreRead the full review at Tales Between the Pages
This book surprised me. I came into it having watched the movie, which was very light hearted. The first half of the book was quite a bit deeper than I expected. There were moments of beauty and heartache and despair. Annie's story resonated with me more than any of the other women, which surprised me. Her emotions felt the most real to me. Her husband was the most despicable out of all of them (even the megalomanic/woman beater). Annie's husband only left her but refused to acknowledge their daughter with Down's Syndrome. AND he only really liked his first born son. The middle son was always neglected because he saw how special his sister is. OH. And he gambled away his daughter's trust fund on the stock market. That was the money that was supposed to sustain her lifestyle at a special school. Annie had to sell everything she owned in order to make sure her daughter would have a happy, healthy, and normal life at Sylvan Glades. Despite all that, I think it was Annie's loneliness really resonated with me. I've been that lonely before so I could relate to her on a very deep emotional level. Annie's character is so much deeper than the Diana Keaton portrayal of her in the movie.
Right around the 50% mark in the book, Olivia Goldsmith changed her writing style. The chapters shifted from these detailed character moments that were really introspective to these choppy chapters that jumped around. You know what I'm talking about when I say choppy chapters -- the kind of chapters that jump POV's and are separated by a few line spaces and a ***. I might not have had a problem with this if she hadn't just decided to start doing it in the middle of the novel. To be honest, I didn't care what the minor society characters were thinking/talking about. I was invested in and cared about the main characters. To have moments without them showed me that Goldsmith lost her way a little bit toward the end. It seems like she felt compelled to include ALL THE THINGS rather than the most important. My little gripes here are what kept me from giving this a four star review.
However, I found The First Wives Club by Olivia Goldsmith to be the precursor to what we think of as chick lit. I read a review on Goodreads that called the book "the grandmother of chick lit." I think that's an apt description. This was published before Carrie Bradshaw and Bridget Jones hit the scene. I can't say that Goldsmith intended on creating a new genre that's marketed to women but I think she and the book are probably as close as we can get to that moment where authors and publishers realized that female readers were their most powerful demographic.
All in all, the book was DEFINITELY better than the movie and quite an enjoyable read. If you've ever been scorned and/or lonely, you'll be able to identify with Elise, Brenda, and Annie.(less)
Handbags and Homicide by Dorothy Howell is a fun read that is perfect for summer. It’s funny, fast-p...moreYou can see this review at Tales Between the Pages
Handbags and Homicide by Dorothy Howell is a fun read that is perfect for summer. It’s funny, fast-paced, and there are enough designer handbag references to make you drool. I’m not a handbag afficionado. I buy cheap at Target. But the book even had me drooling when I looked up pictures of the handbags in question.
I had a hard time liking Haley at the beginning of the novel. I found her vapid and narcissistic and not too like-able. For a while, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like the novel at all. I mean, she finds a dead body and it’s not big deal? Why isn’t it a big deal? Dead body. Pool of blood. BIG DEAL! But, something shifted for me around the time she figured out she was being accused of embezzlement. She had this moment of “How could I have been so stupid?” and vowed to never let it happen again. That moment of self-realization shifted me from “I always finish books, no matter what” to “What’s going to happen next? I HAVE TO KEEP READING!” At that moment, she became real to me.
My advice to you: keep reading. It gets better.
I think Handbags and Homicide by Dorothy Howell is equal parts Confessions of a Shopaholic and Janet Evanovich/Stephanie Plum novels. I noticed a few similarities in the dynamics between Haley/Ty/Jack and Stephanie/Joe/Ranger. It’s not an exact replica, Hayley and Jack’s flirtation is very similar to the flirtation between Stephanie and Ranger. I think if you’re fans of both series, you’ll enjoy Handbags and Homicide.(less)
I came into this book having seen the movie. I still haven’t decided which is better. Does one...moreYou can read the whole review at Tales Between the Pages
I came into this book having seen the movie. I still haven’t decided which is better. Does one have to be better than the other?
In any case, I really liked this book. I love that it’s set up as a diary, as well. Although, I will say that I often skipped the date headings … so sometimes I didn’t know what month I was in. I read some review on Goodreads that mentioned that it just didn’t seem realistic that she could keep a minute-by-minute diary as everything happened. I don’t think that’s what she did. I tend to think that Bridget wrote down everything toward the end of the evening. She could count her drinks/cigarettes/lottery tickets better that way.
What surprised me about Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding is that there are quite a few feminist themes in it. Bridget’s friend Sharon calls the games men play: “fuckwittage” and tells them all that they’re better off without men who play “fuckwittage.”
The only thing that I didn’t like about the story is the Bridget’s mom/Julio fraud story line. I guess people get duped every day, but I’d like to think her mom was smarter than that. Still, it makes for a zany story.
Bridget may seem like a caricature because she has so many flaws, vices, and mishaps, but really Fielding is making her relate-able to almost every woman. We’ve obsessed about weight, men, smoking, our appearances, etc. for so long. Bridget embodies all of our insecurities. And you know what? It’s ok. She ends up happy. I think Fielding tells us, through Bridget, that we’re going to be ok, too.(less)
I wasn't expecting to like this book as much as I did. Lorena McCourtney crafts a realistic and very likable character in her LOL (Little Old Lady), I...moreI wasn't expecting to like this book as much as I did. Lorena McCourtney crafts a realistic and very likable character in her LOL (Little Old Lady), Ivy Malone. She doesn't pretend to be anything other than what she is and that makes her unique. I suppose this book can be categorized as "Christian Fiction," although I'm skeptical of this so-called genre. A book can be more than Christian even if the character does believe wholeheartedly in God. First and foremost, this book is a mystery. A good one.
After the death of her friend, Thea, Ivy finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation that puts her in grave danger. With the help of a cop named Dix and a receptionist named Tiffany, Ivy does more than just stay at home and knit. Using her age "invisibility," Ivy stakes out cemeteries and scales wall to find the killer.(less)
A Taste of Magic had a really great premise. Elizabeth is the descendant of a gypsy and has been passed magical powers that will grant her any wish sh...moreA Taste of Magic had a really great premise. Elizabeth is the descendant of a gypsy and has been passed magical powers that will grant her any wish she decides to make.
At times, I loved the characters. Other times, I wanted more than the formulaic characterization that Tracy Madison gives us. The misunderstandings between Elizabeth and Nate made me think of that Three's Company episode. You know, the one with the misunderstanding.
Though the book is entertaining and is a fun read, I wish that Madison would have taken the time to give her heroine real problems. Elizabeth is quirky at times, but we don't really know what makes her tick. I would have liked to see the "real" Elizabeth, then the heartbroken Elizabeth, before being introduced to learning-how-to-be-strong-because-I-can-talk-to-my-dead-great-great-great-great-grandmother-through-magic Elizabeth. It would have made for a much more dynamic read.
The same applies to her cast of supporting character. I feel like I didn't know Maddie, Alice, Jon, or Nate very well. What makes them tick? Again, it would have been a much more dynamic read should they have been fleshed out a bit more.
All in all, not the best book I have read, but it was entertaining. There were parts where I couldn't put the book down (the middle). Others were ho-hum - especially the beginning and the end. (less)