I’m back home, and getting into the routine of things. While I was away, I thought about new postings on my blog, and I’ve decided to add reviews about anything I’ve dealt with, such as books, writing, life, publishing, etc. Reviews are helpful in making decisions, so I thought posting them here would help.
This post is dedicated to a book review. Over the summer break, I was only able to read one book, Reinventing Claire by Darian Wilk. I’ll admit that I don’t read a lot of chick lit or free eBooks, which is why I had this book downloaded, but I decided to read it since I’m currently writing a women’s fiction/chick lit book and I liked the cover.
Reinventing Claire is about a woman who thinks her marriage is forever until her husband, Charlie, decides forever is too long. He leaves her in a cold fashion and remarries her friend as she struggles to figure out what went wrong and how to live life without Charlie. She turns to her sisters, Holly and Samantha, to help her cope with the turn of events, and then she meets up with a man, Mac, who makes her realize that love does exist after divorce. Now she has a choice to make. Does she go back to Charlie, who pursues her and wants her back, or stay with the man she recently fell in love with, and who treats her well?
I give this book 3 out of 5 stars. Before my writing days, I would have given this book a 2, but because I know how much time is put into writing a novel, it gets that extra star.
This book starts off strong. Claire breaks her shoe, loses her job and then her husband asks for a divorce at a restaurant, leaving her crying at the table. In the beginning, the character Claire is funny, but then things start to get repetitious. She is always turning to her sisters for support, which is great, but it seems they are there after she calls, as if they don’t have lives of their own. Claire is annoyingly needy. I thought she was a pushover and unintelligent. Maybe it’s because I like my characters to have some dignity, which doesn’t describe Claire. Another repetition that drove me crazy was that everyone was ‘smirking’. I think that word was on every page.
As I continued to read, I was waiting for Claire to reinvent herself. Instead, she continuously cried to her sisters about Charlie even when a wonderful man, Mac, enters her life. She doesn’t give Mac the respect he deserves, and he allows her to hurt him time and again, which is surprising since he is divorced, too. You would think Mac would be on-guard instead of letting Claire walk all over him while she tries to figure out whether she wants him or Charlie. That’s just a slap in the face.
Darian Wilk has her main character, Claire, rely too much on her sisters instead of bringing the book to a new level and making it about ‘Reinventing Claire’. I wanted to read about Claire’s life without Charlie, such as her job, which is mentioned but not discussed; feelings about children (whether she wants them or not. She was married for a long time to Charlie and they didn’t have children); dealing with Mac’s son’s mother; and her new home. Darian Wilk left out the reinventing part. Majority of the book is about Claire and her sisters, Claire thinking about Charlie, and her confusion about which man she wants. By the end of the book, Claire still doesn’t feel like her new home is home; there isn’t anything mentioned about children even though her new love has a son, and it takes her close to the end of the book to realize she doesn’t want Charlie. If she was reinventing herself, the book would be more about her new life, feelings about home, job, children and some definite anger toward Charlie and how he treated her. How did she get a job working from home? Does she want children, or can she have them? Where is the anger toward the way Charlie treated her in the marriage, when he left her, and his divorce demands? Very little growth is shown.
Along with characters I didn’t like or relate to, I found the dialogue annoying. When writing dialogue, you don’t always have to write, ‘he said’ or ‘she said’, especially when there are only two characters in the scene. Darian Wilk continuously wrote ‘she said/he said’, which were like speed bumps to me. Give the reader some credit. It’s all right to guide the reader at first as to who is talking, but when all dialogue tells you who is speaking, it becomes monotonous.
If you’re looking for a predictable, light romantic chick lit book, then you might enjoy Reinventing Claire by Darian Wilk. In two clicks, you can buy it on Amazon.
Chick Lit and Reinvention,Bea