Wednesday, May 14

Getting Warmer - Carol Snow

Natalie Quakenbush isn't quite sure how she got to nearly thirty without really becoming a grown up - she's up to her ears in debt (from college and credit cards), teaching uninspired kids, living in the breathless heat of Arizona, and staying with her parents, a 'temporary' situation that's been the case for a year and counting. The only real highlight is her creative outlet - she and friend (and school psychologist Jo), go out on weekends and lie to strangers - it's amazing what people will believe if you're convincing.
When Natalie reluctantly agrees to a blind date she's pleasantly surprised - until she discovers the guy she's hit it off with isn't her date - and the guy who is turns out to be a previous, unsuccessful, set up. Jonathan, the not-blind-date, and Natalie really hit it off, though - but by the time she realises this might be the real deal she's already told him a bunch of lies. And when he tells her it's because of their shared experiences that he knows they're meant to be together, Natalie can't bring herself to tell him the truth - not if it means losing him.
This above-average chick lit novel was a fun and absorbing read. The characters were vibrant, the plot original and relatively unpredictable, there was a refreshing lack of shoe obsession, and the obstacles to romance were convincingly plausible and internally coherent (as opposed to the kind where it would all be clear if just one person asked an obvious question or explained an unremarkable fact - "no, the naked girl cavorting in the pool is my delinquent ward, not my secret girlfriend," for example). I related to the ennui of a life that seems to have just happened (Lynn and I say we've both taken the path of least resistance, not unlike Natalie), and enjoyed the exotic (to me) locale. I even want to see what else Snow's written! - Alex

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