Friday, July 10, 2009

Goin' Giffin: Something Borrowed

I had begun Emily Giffin's Something Borrowed fresh from Kinsella's 4-book Shopaholic series, expecting the novel to follow more or less the linear path of Kinsella's books, in terms of characterization, story appeal, plot development and overall credibility--- even if it is fiction.

Something Borrowed
is the story of Rachel, the quintessential do-gooder, rule-follower and parent-pleaser. She works as an attorney in a law firm in Manhattan, where despite the city's huge population, she is still single and very much alone. On the other hand, Darcy, her best friend of 25 years seems to be living a charmed life--- she is beautiful, still fits into the jeans she wore in high school, has a glamorous job in PR and is engaged to be married to Dex, who is everything any girl could ever dream of. Their lives take an unexpected turn when, on Rachel's thirtieth birthday, she sleeps with Darcy's fiance.

It may be chick lit with the usual love triangle conflict, but more than that, it's a funny yet analytical peek into female friendships, into the lives of women--- whether single, engaged, married or divorced--- who are adults but are still years too young for midlife.

The characters are people we can identify with, genuine and imperfect, with virtues and idiosyncrasies similar to those of someone we know in real life. The events unfold in a chronology where the reader can feel the protagonist's struggles as they happen: loneliness, apprehension, guilt, confusion, trust, surrender, fear and joy. It digs deep into the psychology of self-image and its huge role in influencing a woman's interpersonal relations with other women as well as with members of the opposite sex, in her decision-making and in shaping her future and determining which path her life will take.

Something Borrowed is a delightful read, with familiar conversations injected with sharp wit and humor. It's a quick-paced 336-page novel that takes the chick-lit platform and rises above it, making it deeper, more insightful and more poignant.

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