No two persons ever read the same book. --Edmund Wilson

Saturday, April 30, 2005

#32: She's Gone Country -- Kyle Spencer

'Based on a true story', according to the blurb: I am surprised that any of her family are still on speaking terms with her.

At first this looks like another book about a burnt-out NY journalist finding new life outside the Big Apple: in this case Raleigh, North Carolina. After a while, it becomes evident that she's also husband-hunting. And gradually there's more and more of the story of her dysfunctional family and her parents' divorce. Somehow the three strands, though never quite even, balance one another.

There's some very nice writing, and some shrewd insights: you can tell Spencer was (is?) a good reporter. (Of one suitor, she says "he smelled of sweat, or cow manure, or something really masculine like lawn fertilizer. He was the kind of guy who probably read Playboy on the john and patted women on the ass.")

It's entertaining as a species of chick-lit with more wry wit and less romantic success than most fiction, and for its insights in the day-to-day life of an ambitious, but unproved, reporter. The family-related passages are honest and harrowing, albeit in a way that I think of as 'very American'. Enjoyable.

reposted here from LJ in order to keep all my reviews in one place

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