Tuesday, June 8, 2010

"Chick Lit" Summer Reads from Tiernan

I am relatively new to the genre of women’s fiction. I’ve always been more of a classics kind of girl. When in need of something to satisfy my literary thirst, I usually reach for Hemingway, Faulkner, Eyre, Fitzgerald or Lawrence. While my stack of trusty go-to novels will never leave my bedside, I’ve recently stepped into the world of the genre affectionately known as “chick lit.” Maybe it’s my new life as a working mother that has motivated me to seek solace in the words of women who share my plight. Whether you are new to the genre or a long-time fan, summer is the perfect time to explore the world of women’s fiction. Here are some recommendations:

The Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin – Giffin exposes the frayed fibers of marriage and the heartache of a failed relationship. She delves into the emotions and frustrations associated with an affair, from both the wife’s perspective and from the perspective of the other woman. Giffin manages to infuse a serious plot with a touch of humor by exploring the varying degrees of dysfunction within families and female relationships.

House Rules by Jodi Picoult – Picoult’s touching story about a teenaged boy with Asperger’s Syndrome is a vivid snapshot of a mother’s life with a special needs child. Filled with drama and unexpected twists, House Rules is one of those books that keep your mind moving as you try to predict what will happen next.

The Opposite of Me by Sarah Pekkanen – In Pekkanen’s debut novel, she uncovers just how deep the tentacles of childhood stereotypes reach into adulthood. As the fa├žade of a perfect life crumbles around her, her protagonist ends up on an unexpected path of self-exploration and discovery.

Pieces of Happily Ever After by Irene Zutell – Once you’re few chapters in, you may be able to guess what real-life celebrity couple inspired Zutell’s efforts. The message is clear: although we often have our own definitions of ‘happily ever after’…life usually has other plans.

A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents by Liza Palmer – Family dynamics are always entertaining. Palmer taps into the workings of a once-close sibling group as they deal with the illness and death of father they barely knew. Sound deep? On the surface it is, but Palmer’s witty style makes this a relatable and endearing read.

Tiernan McKay is a Denver area freelance writer and book blogger and now guest blogger for BTC!

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