Jane Green is one of the founding mothers of the Chick-Lit genre. I have read several of her books prior to this one and enjoyed them, but this one was not my favorite. I didn’t hate this book and I read it in record time, it just wasn’t my fav of the 17 books she has penned.
There have been lots of reviews on this one and rather than rehash the plot in great detail, I will just highlight what I liked and didn’t like.
Warning: There will be references to some scenes with spoilers.
The main character is an alcoholic named Cat. You read about her life and family situations from childhood through her 40s. The time period is roughly 1998 to present day but the story isn’t told in linear fashion. Most of the story takes places in England but you have flashbacks to Cat’s time spent in Nantucket. She was there to meet family, a group of family members she didn’t know she had until she was an adult. Once there, she fell back into her partying lifestyle and caused great hurt and embarrassment.
The amount of time spent explaining alcoholism and AA meetings had me wondering if Jane Green wasn’t writing from personal experience. It’s very detailed and she made Cat’s struggle so real to me that it’s either genius on the writer’s part or a pouring out of one’s own crisis. (And no, I don’t think Jane Green is identical to Cat.) While the alcoholic struggles and the meetings had some interest to me, it was just about the entire focus of the book. Her other books are described as beach reads but I wouldn’t classify this one as such.
What grabbed me about this book was the jacket and promo talking about a 20 something English lady (Cat) who had a career in journalism. She was a partying girl but kept her wits about her despite some heavy drinking. I wasn’t sure where it would go from there but I hoped for more scenes in London. Also I wish her mother’s character had been fleshed out more, she seemed very interesting.