Monday, December 15, 2008

Certain Girls

I have always been a fan of Jennifer Weiner novels. They hardly qualify as fine literature, but are instead fun, chick-lit. I needed an easy-reading book after some of my most recent tackles. Plus the lighter fiction is right up my alley to listen to on CD in the car.

Certain Girls is the sequel to Good in Bed, which came out in 2001. 13 years later, Cannie Shapiro deals with the adolescent rebellion of her about-to-be bat mitzvahed daughter, Joy, juggles her writing career; her relationship with her husband, Peter; her constant weight issues; and the occasional standoff with Joy's biological father, Bruce. Joy, whose premature birth resulted in her needing to wear hearing aids, narrates every other chapter. She can be a very annoying 13-year old to listen to, but her perspective lends a great point of view to the story. As her bat mitzvah approaches, Joy tries to find her long absent grandfather (Cannie's dad, who was had very little to do with her upbringing) and tries to get to know Bruce better, much to his wife's dismay. Weiner throws in lots of funny lines too. My favorite is from Cannie's single best friend who's desperately trying to find a husband. First of all, she posts a picture of Brooke Shields on her dating web page and claims it as herself. Then, in desperation, she tells Cannie that at this point, she'd just be happy with "a Jew with a pulse." And surprisingly in the end this "surface" story turns out to be quite poignant.

Great book for a long drive.

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