Monday, November 21, 2011

Getting Over It

By Anna Maxted

Helen Bradshaw works at a magazine and her life is pretty much OK. She doesn't like her boss who treats her like a go-fer instead of a journalist. She doesn't like her boyfriend because he keeps hooking up with his ex. She doesn't like her landlord although she does lust for him. But everything is pretty much OK. Then her father dies suddenly and Helen finds herself mourning not only the loss of her father but also that she never had the kind of loving relationship with him that she always wanted. Meanwhile she has to cope with her needy, depressed mother, her increasingly hostile landlord, her on-again, off-again relationship with her new boyfriend and one of her best friends who is locked into an abusive and violent relationship. And still come to terms with her own deeply buried grief.

This was an OK story, if pretty typical of the "chick-lit" genre, following the usual pattern of girl who undervalues herself and ends up jumping from man to man until she straightens up, realizes her mistakes and finally gets the man of her dreams. Only this book adds the trauma of losing a parent.
Oddly, this book is covered with blurbs describing it as "laugh-out-loud," "always funny," and "hilarious" despite its rather grim subject matter, the death of and coping with the loss of a loved one. I will admit it has a few amusing moments and some that I suppose some would consider funny (like when Helen gets so drunk she pees her pants in public) but that I thought were more sad than funny. Also, the book seemed a lot longer that it needed to be, some 400 pages long, one of those books that go on and on and on. Anyway, it was an OK book but nowhere near as funny as the blurbs indicated.

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