Reading: “Otherwise Engaged” by Suzanne Finnimore

I've tried over the years to warm up to chick lit (anti-genre though I may be) with little success. I've read the Bridget Joneses and the Shopaholics and all, without regret, and I do have a lingering fondness for The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing that The Wonder Spot didn't entirely wipe out, but this is one of the few books I go back to over and over. I'm sorry she hasn't written more, because her style is right up my proverbial alley, and I'm a huge fan of characters who get everything they want and then realize it makes them miserable.

People were supposed to return the response cards, but many of them haven't. These are people I naturally assumed would be thrilled and would reply immediately. Now I have to call them and ask them about it, and I have to be nice and not say what I would like to say.

"Hello? I'm sorry to bother you but is it too much fucking trouble to send that little card back? I put a stamp on it. But maybe you need me to come over to your house and carry you to the mailbox."

— Suzanne Finnamore, Otherwise Engaged

I'm also a big fan of female characters who aren't out to get anybody—her fiance's ex-girlfriend and ex-wife are discussed and disliked, but are neither a significant plot point nor a major part of the action. Our girl Eve doesn't spend all of her time hunting down a rich, thin, gorgeous, snotty nemesis, which is one of my biggest problems with chick lit, aside from the generally abysmal writing (exhibits A & B:  The Devil Wears Prada and The Nanny Diaries): the main character's triumph always comes at the expense of someone else who must be put in her place. Here the character is fighting against herself, which is both more believable and more interesting.

Otherwise Engaged: A Novel
By Suzanne Finnamore