Saturday, October 27, 2007

[Book Review] BECAUSE SHE CAN by Bridie Clark

Fiction/Chick Lit

Andrea Bledsoe reviews BECAUSE SHE CAN by Bridie Clark (Warner Books, 2007)

This first novel by Bridie Clark, a former New York magazine and book editor, reminded me a lot of The Devil Wears Prada. I highly recommend this novel for readers who enjoy Chick Lit. Meet Claire Truman. Frustrated, but loyal, Claire wants to advance in the world of publishing as well as increase her income. Although she has learned a lot from her professional mentor, Jackson Mayfield, while at Peters and Pomfret Publishing the last five years, she still feels unchallenged and underpaid. To make matters worse, Jackson is getting ready to retire.

While at dinner with another Princeton alumni/soon-to-be boyfriend, Claire is given the contact information for Vivian Grant who just so happens to be looking for a senior editor. Claire is ecstatic to work for THE Vivian Grant. If you have already read The Devil Wears Prada, you'll remember that Claire's counterpart, Andrea Sachs, hardly knows anything about Miranda Priestley or Runway Magazine. Both editors-in-chief, Vivian and Miranda, seem to be evil incarnate as they take great pleasure in abusing their staff members, especially Claire and Andrea, on a daily basis. While Ms. Priestley is quiet and calm as she rips her staff to pieces, Ms. Grant thinks screaming at the top of her lungs is a more effective way of berating her staff.

Confronted with demanding early morning phone calls, tremendous workloads, late nights at the publishing house, and a dwindling social life, Claire (like Prada's Andrea) believes if she can just make one year, she will have that much more of an edge on her resume.

To tell you the truth, Because She Can made me tired. But I would still recommend it for those of us working hard and trying to get a leg up in our respective careers. Honestly, a year is not that long in the grand scheme of things unless you are being pushed beyond your physical, mental, and emotional limits within that year. That's when I think life's too short to be that miserable, and I would re-evaluate my situation. Be warned that there is a lot of cursing in this novel.

Andrea Bledsoe, Poplar-White Station Branch Library

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I love Chick Lit! It makes me angry that it is underappreciated and sometimes denigrated. Do you read other authors in this genre? One fave is Marion Keyes...highly rec'd...very funny. Who are some of your favorite authors?

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