Oct 18, 13
Read in May, 2011
Imagine a Hallmark movie, but as a book. If you don't know what I mean by that, let me assure you that the Hallmark channel has tons of movies that center around some of these same themes: big city is bad, career-oriented thinking is bad...well, you get the picture. The following quote stunned me:
"Her MBA training and years of working in New York had taught her to ignore the twinge of conscience."
All this time, I thought an MBA was an accomplishment for the hard-working and disciplined, but now I see it just numbs your sense of right and wrong. Eating sushi is elitist, broadening your horizons leads to ramming a giant stick up your ass and losing your sense of humor, and God forbid you move away from your family...even if your sister did elope with your boyfriend. Don't be selfish and stand in the way of true love!
Love interest Sam has his Harvard education, but brought it back to his home town and spends the book sneering at/lecturing Cassie (Cassandra in New York...New Yorkers apparently frown on nicknames) for the way she changed, and insists that she makes him glad he left Boston before the obligatory stick-ramming. That what they taught in Harvard? The contrast for him is Andrew, another favored Hallmark archetype, the successful but soul-less, uptight, pompous jerk who hates kids, old people, and anything not business-related. It takes the heroine inexplicably long to realize said-jerkiness...because she's too busy insisting he's right for her, clearly illustrating what she'll become unless she does what everyone around her thinks she should.
Obviously I had a lot of problems with the messages in this book. I also thought the beginning was pretty confusing as to what exactly were the main conflicts of the book, because it would introduce one conflict (I've been estranged from my sister for 15 years and now I have to go home again)and then quickly resolve the conflict within a chapter or two (I just realized I'm not mad anymore and I was wrong to be mad in the 1st place...we're cool, sis). There were at least 3 or 4 false starts before it moves on to the actual story.
About half-way through the book there's a mystery introduced, which couldn't have interested me less. I just kept speeding forward to find out what happened to Harriet...her story did end up interesting me, hence the second star.
I don't mind two-dimensional, predictable chick-lit because it can be comforting, like mac-n-cheese. I do mind stereotypes.