Wednesday, May 14, 2008

[Book Review] CERTAIN GIRLS by Jennifer Weiner


Beth reviews CERTAIN GIRLS by Jennifer Weiner (Atria Books, 2008)

If you missed Jennifer Weiner’s book Good in Bed, you missed a great book! It’s been 13 years and many things have happened to Cannie Shapiro. Her book (also titled Good in Bed) became a bestseller. She, along with her sister Elle and daughter Joy, went on extended book tours. There were television interviews, and newspaper columnists were writing about Cannie (instead of her writing the columns about other people). Her world has changed.

After her book was published and she learned to express her own wishes and personal demons more clearly to Peter, Cannie and Peter finally married. But all the attention of being an author was just too much. Cannie simply stopped. She refused to write another book that would bring her personal attention and picked up a pen name and a book series. She was able to become a stay-at-home mom for Joy.

Joy, now almost 13-years-old and about to be bat mitzvahed, is embarrassed by her mom. To Joy’s eyes, Cannie is always there. Always. Did Joy do her homework? Did she put her hearing aids in? Did she eat her snack? Does she want to go to the park? Or for a walk? And then Joy reads Good in Bed. Who is this woman, her mother? Did Joy ruin her life? What is the truth about Bruce, her real father?

In true rebellious, teenage-girl style, Joy clashes with Cannie at every turn. They argue about the bat mitzvah invitations, the dresses, and even who to invite.

But Peter and Cannie are growing as well. They have decided they want another child. Cannie cannot carry a baby so a surrogate is needed. When do you explain all this to a 13-year-old? And how does one choose a surrogate?

This book is wonderful! I recommend reading Good in Bed first and then enjoying this second installation about a family that truly loves one another—no matter who each person turns out to be.

Beth, Highland Branch Library

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