A quick and easy read – I’ve said it before but I’m not enjoying Jane Green’s novels as much now they’re based, like her, in America. I didn’t warm to the lead characters – long-abroad Brit, Gabby and solid, professional, husband Elliott. She was too oblivious to the obvious, which results in a one night stand followed by the longed for third child, his realisation that he still loved her as soon as he held the not-longed-for baby.
Author page: Tempting Fate – Jane Green
Trials and tribulations of blended families, West Coast style, as an emotionally illiterate teenager clashes with her baby obsessed but perimenopausal step mother, plus an alcoholic ex wife and slightly stereotypical gay neighbours thrown in to provide a few more perspectives. The father/husband/ex figure around whom the women coalesce is an oddly ‘absent’ character – he’s in the plot but seems insubstantial. Readable, but I have to admit that I preferred Jane Green’s stories of London life…
Amazon.co.uk link: The Patchwork Marriage – Jane Green
More classic Jane Green in her US incarnation: divorcee mother rebuilds life and soul, finding work as the assistant to a famous reclusive author with sorrows of his own, and with the support of her network of closest girl friends and the obligatory wise old lady cum fairy godmother who lives next door. Then a few new faces appear in town and all is no longer as it seems…
There’s a paragraph about a third of the way in on chick lit being more than frill and froth, which I have a gut feel comes directly from the author’s heart and mind, and which I agree with wholeheartedly.
I do prefer her earlier, London-based, novels though.
Amazon link: Girl Friday – Jane Green
Old teenage friendships are revived after one of the crowd dies in a terrorist bombing, and Holly Mac, Olivia, Paul and Saffron work their way through the immediate aftermath and the longer term mourning of their friend Tom.
Death and the transatlantic angle – their lives have taken them to London, New York and LA – means that there is plenty of opportunity for soul searching, mid life crises, the baby dilemma and reflection on the cults of celebrity and sobriety. It’s also a stepping stone towards the next novel Jane Green wrote, The Beach House.
Amazon.co.uk link: Second Chance – Jane Green
A wholly American-setting for Jane Green’s latest chick lit novel, as singles, couples, divorcees and closet gays gather around independent matriarchal Nan, who, dropped into hard times by the credit crunch, has turned her Nantucket family home into a B&B.
Amazon.co.uk link: The Beach House – Jane Green