Thursday, September 13, 2007
MTV Generation's Book Club
"I believe in clubs for women, but only if every other form of persuasion fails." W.C. Fields
I have wanted a book club of my very own for some time, but many of the open-to-the-public book clubs around town focus on the meaty "classics," which, since they were written at a time when authors got paid by the word, often have a flagrant disregard for pacing. As much as I liked and admired Anna Karenina while reading it, I couldn't help but picture Tolstoy sitting at his desk saying, "My characters have suffered for their choices, why not you?"
Anyway, I was inquiring yet again at Book Stop about in-house book clubs and trying to psych myself up for Proust when a woman came in searching for the Chick Lit meets Skewer the Rich book The Devil In the Junior League. It turned out she was buying it for a book club. A private book club. One that incorporates authors who write humor. After I chatted her up and managed to obtain an invitation, I nearly fell to my knees to kiss the carpet she walked on.
When I began reading The Devil In the Junior League however, I questioned my choice. The main character is funny, but she's such an enormous snob, a rich, beautiful woman who delights in telling us she's gotten everything she's ever wanted with ease. At first, it was difficult to relate to her. Difficult, in fact, not to throw her and the book she lives in out the window. But I knew that the author, Linda Francis Lee, must have had plans to redeem her, and I admired Lee for even making the attempt. It takes a courageous author to showcase a main character in such a way.
Fortunately, Lee does a wonderful job with this material. By the end, I was rooting whole-heartedly for main character Frede to rule the day. Of note, I especially enjoyed the book's driving pace at the end. Clearly, Lee is a product of the MTV generation/Gen X/Gen Y sensibility that says a quick progression keeps one from losing the short-attention-spanned reader. If you like Chick Lit/Skewer the Rich books, The Devil in the Junior League is an excellent read.
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