Thursday, December 13

The Guy Not Taken – Jennifer Weiner

Josie, the oldest of three children, comes home from college to find her father gone, her younger brother morose, her tempestuous sister acting out and her mother ploughing never-ending laps in the pool. Over three stories we follow the path of Josie, Nicki, Jon and their mother from that first summer to Josie’s wedding day.
Marlie’s happy enough with her life – her husband’s a reliable presence, and her baby’s beautiful, when he’s not crying. But she can’t shift those last eighteen pregnancy pounds and, tired and feeling frumpy, she’s feeling over her life and wishes what would have happened if she'd stayed with her ex-boyfriend. On a whim, while looking at a registry list for a friend, she puts in his name.
This collection of short stories by the author of Good in Bed and In Her Shoes spans her writing career from the age of eighteen. And it shows - the first three stories show clear signs of working through her own issues and, with a couple of rare exceptions, most of the stories didn't seem to have any narrative points. I'm under the weather at the moment - o poor me, dying of a cold - so that has probably coloured my lack of enchantment, but doesn't account for all of it. Thank god for libraries - once upon a time I bought all her stuff without question. - Alex

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