Northwestreader's Reviews > Ten Girls to Watch

Ten Girls to Watch by Charity Shumway
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Jul 26, 12

Read from July 15 to 21, 2012

Young woman. New college diploma. Wants to be a writer. Moves to New York. Dreams. Aspirations. Looking for love. How to pull it all together? This is basically the raw material of Ten Girls to Watch.

Dawn West is alone in New York City. Her family remains on the west coast, her college mentor is hours away in Boston, her roommate is only marginally occupying the apartment, and her boyfriend is quickly segueing into an ex-boyfriend. Dawn is eking out her rent by writing a lawn care column under a pseudonym. She is not a happy camper! Then, through some chance happenings, she lands a temporary job with a well-known magazine to work on a 50 year anniversary edition that spotlights 50 years of winners from one of their contests. As she interviews all these past winners, she asks for and receives advice from them—kind of a turning them into guide posts for herself. A few other minor twists to the story and, of course, a great job offer for Dawn after she wraps up her initial assignment.

While that sounds kind of sappy, it was actually a very pleasant read. It’s been a long time since I was a freshly launched college graduate, but the idea of wanting and needing mentors as we go through life is actually rather timeless: the exact topics may change, but the concept that someone else has navigated the territory previously and will share that experience and knowledge with us remains relevant.

I would be willing to bet that Dawn West and Charity Shumway have a lot in common.

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