We are deep into our Pekkanen Until You Puke Month here at the blog. After thinking about the conversations that Sarah and I had that led to this puking thing, I do believe that she felt her latest book "These Girls" (which releases April 10th) would be the one to throw me right over the edge. So many Pekkanens in one month? Who could imagine?
However, instead of it sending me over the edge, it has done nothing but fuel the fire. I'm four books into this project and I'm going strong! I'm quite certain at this stage I would NEVER get tired of the women in Sarah's novels. They continue to charm, entertain, and endear. And the girls in the latest novel are more precious than ever. I kind of wish I could have them all over for dinner.
Synopsis: Three women, three stories, one friendship.
Cate is a young go-getter working for Gloss fashion magazine in New York City. She was just promoted to Chief Features Editor, and has a lot to prove, especially since half the office thinks she slept her way to the top. But Cate has trouble getting close to anyone emotionally due to secrets best left in the past that haunt her on a daily basis.
Cate's roommate Renee works at Gloss as well, and is gunning for the Beauty Editor position. She is a warm, out-going, nurturing soul but grieves over the fact that she is a size 12 in a sea of toothpicks. While she is battling the calorie gremlins, she is also trying to make peace with the newly-discovered fact that her father sired a child out of wedlock early in her parents' marriage and that she now has a half-sister.
Abby shows up in New York City on her brother Trey's (hot freelance journalist wanted by all women including Renee) doorstep, shell-shocked after a horrible experience working as a nanny. No one really knows the details, but Abby isn't eating or communicating. Because her brother travels often, she bunks up with Cate and Renee for some female bonding and companionship.
Slowly, each woman's story is peeled away, and we discover the details that made them who they are today. Damaged but hopeful, yearning to connect, wanting love and success and acceptance, struggling with what went wrong with their own families, we enter the lives of three unforgettable human beings.
My thoughts: The thing I love about Sarah Pekkanen's books is that her writing is comfortable and easy to read. It is like sinking down into my comfy reading chair on a rainy day - there is so much joy in that. Amidst all the fun, though, she tackles really tough issues. Not just "oh my boyfriend broke up with me" or "I'm a shop-a-holic and I'm out of room in my closet" but real problems suffered by real women. Infidelity. Death. Eating disorders. Families torn asunder. Secrets and insecurities that erode a happy life.
What really speaks to me the most as a human being and as a woman, though, is the way Pekkanen gets relationships. More importantly, it is the way she gets women's relationships - the Sisterhood. You know, where women actually forgo a hook-up with a man for the sake of a friendship, or when women will surround their wounded friend and usher her off for wine and chocolate and laughter. There is an undeniable power in these bonds, and not everyone understands it, or at least articulates it properly.
As I turned the last page of this wonderful testament to sisterhood, my prolonged thought was "there is still meat on this bone". Pekkanen has several hefty plot threads that were barely touched. Hmmm, perhaps she is saving them for a sequel? I sure hope so. I'm not nearly done with Cate, Renee and Abby.
4.5 out of 5 stars