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Check It Out

Courier Article by Kate Linderman
Sunday, June 12, 2011

International Chick Lit Month

I had no idea, but last month was the first official annual International Chick Lit Month, according to a few book blogs I follow. Since I missed it for my last "Check it Out", I thought I'd revisit my favorite genre by focusing on some upcoming Chick Lit books I can't wait to read.

Harriet Evans has a new book, out June 21, entitled Love Always. It's the story of a young woman who attends her grandmother's funeral and delves into the mystery of what happened to her aunt Cecily, who died nearly fifty years ago. Evans has a great Brit Lit writing style, reminiscent of Sophie Kinsella and Marian Keyes. If you like British Chick lit, check her books out, and look for her newest!

I recently discovered Holly Chamberlin, an American author of Chick Lit. Her new book is entitled The Summer of Us, and is about three female friends on the verge of turning thirty who share a house on Martha's Vineyard for a summer. Each woman uses the time on the island as a chance to discover herself – to discover what is truly important.

Another book about summer shares is by Mary Kay Andrews – one of my favorite authors – and is called Summer Rental. Andrews' latest is about a group of lifelong friends sharing a ramshackle house in Nag's Head, North Caroline for a few weeks. Each woman is wrestling with her own demons, when another women with drama that supersedes their own is flung into their midst. Andrews writes great characters, and again uses a Southern setting to craft a humorous, juicy beach read.

The Little Women Letters by Gabrielle Donnelly uses the classic novel to illustrate the struggles of Lulu, a British woman and descendent of Jo March (the main character of Louisa May Alcott's classic Little Women). Lulu, like Jo, is the middle child, mildly overshadowed by her organized and mature older sister and her creative and outgoing younger sister. Her journey of self-discovery begins when she discovers the letters of Jo March in her family's attic.

Best Staged Plans by Claire Cook is about the life changes of a highly successful, organized woman named Sandy, who works as a "home stager". Sandy's children, now grown, have (in some cases, reluctantly) moved on, she's repaired her marriage, and is selling her home...which should be easy, considering her line of work. However, it proves to be quite difficult for someone so accustomed to order and finesse – and as Sandy discovers herself, she finds that life can't be micromanaged or staged.

Finally, for fans of PBS's recent Downton Abbey (which was great – if you didn't catch it, check out the DVD!), there is Daisy Goodwin's new novel, The American Heiress. The book is about Cora Cash, an American heiress whose society-driven mother expects her to marry into British aristocracy (similar to Cora Crawley, the matriarch of Downtown Abbey). She meets and falls in love with a British duke who harbors a dark secret, which Daisy must figure out.

Next year, we'll be sure to celebrate the 2nd annual International Chick Lit Month at EVPL!