Thursday, January 27, 2011

4. The Man of My Dreams by Curtis Sittenfeld

I saw The Man of My Dreams while browsing at the library. I had previously read books by Curtis Sittenfeld and enjoyed them, and this one looked like something that I would enjoy. It was a short read and one that I liked and I give it a B.

From Amazon:
Hannah Gavener is fourteen in the summer of 1991. In the magazines she reads, celebrities plan elaborate weddings; in Hannah’s own life, her parents’ marriage is crumbling. And somewhere in between these two extremes–just maybe–lie the answers to love’s most bewildering questions. But over the next decade and a half, as she moves from Philadelphia to Boston to Albuquerque, Hannah finds that the questions become more rather than less complicated: At what point can you no longer blame your adult failures on your messed-up childhood? Is settling for someone who’s not your soul mate an act of maturity or an admission of defeat? And if you move to another state for a guy who might not love you back, are you being plucky–or just pathetic?None of the relationships in Hannah’s life are without complications. There’s her father, whose stubbornness Hannah realizes she’s unfortunately inherited; her gorgeous cousin, Fig, whose misbehavior alternately intrigues and irritates Hannah; Henry, whom Hannah first falls for in college, while he’s dating Fig; and the boyfriends who love her more or less than she deserves, who adore her or break her heart. By the time she’s in her late twenties, Hannah has finally figured out what she wants most–but she doesn’t yet know whether she’ll find the courage to go after it.

I think that each woman who reads this story can find a bit of herself in it. While Hannah isn't the most likeable person, she is an honest character and one you can relate to. I have to admit that there were times that I really didn't like her, but there were also times that I felt so bad for her. The story was a bit "clunky" at times, where there was just a big info drop, but I kept reading. The ending was also a bit of an info dump, written in letter form, so while it wasn't the best written book in the world, it was an enjoyable one to escape with for awhile. While some might say this was chick lit, I would classify it more as women's fiction

2 comments:

John Michael Cummings said...

re: book review request by award-winning author

Dear Kristie,
I'm an award-winning author with a new book of fiction out last month.
Ugly To Start With is a series of thirteen interrelated stories about
adolescence published by West Virginia University Press.

All the stories in my collection have been previously published in
well-regarded print and online literary magazines such as The Iowa
Review, Passager, The Bitter Oleander, Confrontation, Salt River
Review, The Foliate Oak. and The Cortland Review.

Can I interest you in reviewing it?

If you write me back at johnmcummings@aol.com, I can email you a PDF of my book. If you require a bound copy, please ask, and I will forward your reply to my publisher. Or you can write directly to Abby Freeland at:

Abby.Freeland@mail.wvu.edu

My publisher, I should add, can also offer your readers a free excerpt of my book through a link from your blog to my publisher's website:
http://wvupressonline.com/cummings_ugly_to_start_with_9781935978084

Here’s what Jacob Appel, celebrated author of
Dyads and The Vermin Episode, says about my new collection: "In Ugly to Start With, set in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, Cummings tackles the challenges of boyhood adventure and family conflict in a taut, crystalline style that captures the triumphs and tribulations of small-town life. He has a gift for transcending the particular experiences to his characters to capture the universal truths of human affection and suffering--emotional truths that the members of his audience will recognize from their own experiences of childhood and adolescence.”

My short stories have appeared in more than seventy-five literary journals, including North American Review, The Kenyon Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and The Chattahoochee Review. Twice I have been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. My short story "The Scratchboard Project" received an honorable mention in The Best American Short Stories 2007.

I am also the author of the nationally acclaimed coming-of-age novel The Night I Freed John Brown (Philomel Books, Penguin Group, 2009), winner of The Paterson Prize for Books for Young Readers (Grades 7-12) and one of ten books recommended by USA TODAY.

For more information about me, please visit:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Michael_Cummings

Thank you very much, and I look forward to hearing back from you.

Kindly,

John Michael Cummings

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