JackieB's Reviews > The Man of My Dreams

The Man of My Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld
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Aug 08, 11

bookshelves: fiction, general
Read from August 04 to 05, 2011

** spoiler alert ** This was a type of coming of age novel, which is not a genre I particularly like. However, it was well written and initially I quite enjoyed it. It started when the main character, Hannah, was 14. She was socially awkward and in particular, struggling to make sense of boys and dating. I thought Ms Sittenfeld had captured the insecurities and anxieties of a typical 14 year old girl really well and I warmed to Hannah as a character.
The novel moved onto when Hannah was 19 when she was still socially awkward, and in particular, struggling to make sense of boys and dating. In the intervening 5 years, Hannah hadn't seemed to have matured at all. By the time she was in her mid twenties and still socially awkward etc, without apparently having matured or changed drastically from when she was 14, I was beginning to get very annoyed by her. By the end of the book I just longed to tell her to grow up.
The focus on boys/men and relationships soon got irritating too. It seemed that to Hannah, a woman is not complete without a man. In addition to her juvenile obsession with finding the man of her dreams and criticism of more mature women who married men who (gasp!) weren't perfect, this was the main thing I found irritating about her.
By the end of the book, Ms Sittenfeld obviously meant to show that Hannah had grown up (at last!) and was much more secure in herself and no longer looking for a perfect man. Unfortunately, Ms Sittenfled chose to convey this via an assessment Hannah made of her previous relationships, so to me, it suggested that Hannah was just picking over old wounds and hadn't really learnt anything at all.
Overall, this experience suggests that Ms Sittenfeld's books are not really my cup of tea. It's unlikely I'll read anything else by her, unless it's recommended by one of my friends who knows my reading tastes very well.
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