overkill aside, the chick lit phenomenon is far from over. Books with pink-accented covers seems to arrive at our offices every day.The Devil Wears Prada
author Lauren Weisberger gets two classic images on the cover of her newest novel,Chasing Harry Winston
– three enormous engagement rings and a stiletto heel.
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You would have reason to think this book is about three women searching for husbands. But strangely, husband hunting isn’t really the focus here. Instead, the narrative is supposedly driven by a pact between the newly single, slightly prudish Emmy and the man-eating Brazilian bombshell Adriana – that Emmy will sleep around, and that Adriana will pick a man and stick with him (a third friend, Leigh, already has a supposedly perfect job, man and apartment, so doesn’t join the pact). All kinds of predictable high jinks ensue, and these beautiful and rich characters stay beautiful and rich.
But at least Adriana is beautiful and rich and interesting. The plucked-to-perfection trust-funder and daughter of a supermodel steals the show. Groomed since childhood in how to captivate men, Adriana is brimming over with advice that, the book acknowledges, borrows heavily from The Rules.
Adriana ponders the plight of graceless American women who have never figured out to let the man come to them: “It was boring. It was obvious. Why didn’t American women understand this? Why weren’t they taught it? The Rules had helped a little but hadn’t done nearly enough; it instructed women how to deny men, but now how to seduce them.” Adriana throws the whole no-sex idea out the window, but adds, “You make them work for it – not just the first time, but again and again and again – and they’ll love you forever.” It’s priceless when Adriana’s famous-director boyfriend calls her and she picks up the phone and says “William?” just to torture him and seem like she might be seeing someone else.
Read as an advice book, Chasing Harry Winston isn’t half bad. Weisberger reads today at 7 p.m. at Blue Willow Bookshop, 14532 Memorial Drive, 281-497-8675. – Cathy Matusow