Bookends By Jane Green: Chicklit, Friendship and Romance For Our Times
Are you a lover of chick lit? (And if you say ‘of what’, then I can only assume you’ve been hiding under a rock for fifteen years or so. Or you’re not a lover of romance novels, in which case what the heck is wrong with you? Romance, and by extension romance novels, is what life’s all about!)
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If you’re an aficionado of the recently famed sub-genre, then it’s quite likely that you’re already familiar with the work of Jane Green. She specializes in groups of early thirty-something friends with glamorous, casually chaotic lives, generally homing in on the love and sex life of one female in the group in particular. Green isn’t shy of getting down to the nitty-gritty: she has admitted in interviews that, now she’s a mum, she’s slightly embarrassed by just how, er, frank a lot of her love and sex scenes are! In Green world, the guy you’re initially chasing after is often an unreliable waster, while the best male bud you’ve never thought of in that way turns out to be the guy you should have been noticing all along… (And how traditional is that?)
In Bookends, the main female character is Cath, a woman who’s been burned in love, pretty much given up on life, has a gay best friend and a close circle of other friends. So far, so chick lit, right? But an almost mythical old friend from uni preys on the minds of the group. And for a good reason: she’s cannibalised their old lives and memories in order to write a hit TV drama.
Do we lose contact with old friends for a reason? And when they re-enter our lives, can anything good come of it? More to the point, is Cath going to get herself a new fella, and manage to circumnavigate all of her friends’ dramas and infighting?
Maybe you’ll have to read the book and find out!