Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ordinary Life Can Be Charming in Small Doses

This latest is a find of Chava's, which both she and abg enjoyed immensely (abg read it right in front of me and she's rather demonstrative reader) so even though both of them have somewhat different taste than I have, I thought it was definitely worth a look-see.  Katherine Center writes those slightly comic books about women, differing from chic lit in that the women are in relationships already (actually, I can only say that definitively about the only one I've read, Everyone is Beautiful, but you know the type... the banalities of ordinary life and the conundrum of how to make it meaningful - n/t too scary or serious, mostly meant to entertain.. okay, you either know what I'm talking about or you don't at this point).  Anyway, I usually avoid this type of book at the library, mostly because it simply doesn't interest me.  I am just less than interested in reading about the difficulties of being a mommy, about trying to keep a marriage together, about balancing work and life... unless there's something else thrown in to spice it up.

In this case, Chava recommended the books because they are just so well written.  Light, funny, smooth... well she didn't use those descriptions exactly, but that's what I found.  The book does flow easily along, never getting too bogged down in the issues, despite the fact that the issues are just about all there are.  Most of the book is a description of just how hard Lanie's life with three kids 3 and under is (and yes, I believe that's pretty darn hard).  But she doesn't really complain, it's all pretty matter of fact.  And like I said, the book moves quickly - not much time for too much real crisis to balloon.  So I was able to enjoy it surprisingly well considering that not much good happens until the very end.  Because not much bad happens either.  And there's no real enemy or bad guy to come along and menace the population.  Actually the biggest ba-dum ba-dum alls comes from Lanie's forshadowing... but I should have known this, but what would happen... which I did find annoying but not overly tense, as I didn't take it too seriously (and rightly as it happens).

So as far as a book about someone's miserable life and horrible mistakes, my fears weren't realized.  On the other hand, neither were my expectations.  Abg said this book was incredibly romantic... girl, I love you but I should know better than to trust you on the romance.  Peter's and Lanie's beginning were fraught with lovely moments and tension... but that's fifteen-year-old flashbacks! Not the knock-your-sock-off in the moment tension and angst-ridden love story which I define as incredible romance.  And of course Peter loves her... but until the very end, that's not even an issue - no questioning on either side at all.  So at best, it's a romantic ending.

Basically, nothing really bad happens in this book, it's fairly funny, and well-enough written.  The worst I can say about it is that it's not my type.  The best is that it's short.  And for 2 hours, I can handle not my type :)

Verdict: 3/5
Food: not my usual, nothing outstanding in any way, but I get why people like it... cheese crackers! some people totally love those, I can kind of eat them... and they are thoroughly ordinary

Funny PS - So we were discussing mothers and children on the first night of yom tov and I mentioned this book as an example of something and Jen T. who was there for yom tov said - wait which author? and I was like, Katherine Center.  And she said, she went to Vassar? I know her! and I was like no way! Couldn't get over it! and she said she's really nice and sweet and not at all pretentious which was the impression I got from the book jacket, which just goes to show, you can't judge the author by the book jacket :) Isn't that too cool and funny though? :)

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