Sunday, August 26, 2012

Money, sex, and reproduction in a chick lit fantasy world

I'm not going to tell you the title of the book I just read, or the author's name. If I did, I'd be guilty of spoilers for what I'm about to say. I'll just mention that the novel has four main characters, all female:
Ya conniving 40-something woman with a murky past and an invented present
Ya 24-year-old trust-fund baby who is alarmed that the world does not revolve around her
Ya 24-year-old Ivy League grad who desperately wants to rescue her substance-abusing father
Ya 24-year-old mother of two with an underemployed husband

And I'll divulge that, to create a baby, one woman provides the egg, one the womb, one the money, and one the guardianship;

that the women tell their stories in interlaced chapters, all in the first person, all with pretty much the same voice;

that lots of brand names get mentioned, often in tones of awe;

that there's a fair amount of soft-core sex: straight, lesbian, married, unmarried, abusive, coital, oral;

and that as improbable as it may seem, by the end of the book everyone is financially solvent, loved, happy, and friends with one another.

I was disappointed: I hadn't intended to read a fairy tale.

The author could have done better. Has done better. And maybe will do better in the future, if she starts looking closely at what happens in the real world to people who are obsessed with money.

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