Sunday, August 19, 2007

Man of the Month Club - Jackie Clune


Man of the Month Club
Jackie Clune
Berkley

Chick Lit/Brit Lit

As the star of her art school, Amy Stokes thought her future would consist of a career as a high-end design consultant, or possibly an impossibly cool minimalist artist. Instead, she discovered a talent for designing and screening fabrics for nurseries. This almost embarrassing talent has earning her more money than she ever imagined. She’s now the owner of three shops, and a mail-order business called Precious Little Darlings. Her customers are the upscale, trendy mommies with money to burn.

The irony is that Amy, now celebrating her 39th birthday, doesn’t particularly care for children or the moneyed mommies who overindulge them. That changes when she discovers a baby left in the doorway of one of her shops. Taking the abandoned child to the hospital apparently sets her biological clock in motion, and it’s counting down in fast-forward.

Her business methods have served her well in the past, so she decides to apply them to the problem of conception. She doesn’t need a mate, just a sperm donor. But trying to find the “right” man to father your child is a lot more difficult than she imagined. She embarks on a series of terrible dates and hopeless one-night stands, looking for the one man who can give her exactly what she wants.

Amy’s observations on everyone from those she calls her friends to the customers who support her lavish, if lonely, lifestyle, are almost unremittingly mean-spirited. Her social isolation rings very true, however, and it’s easy to see how she painted herself into this corner. The dating misadventures are entertaining, if fairly predictable. For all of that, the writing style is polished and engaging; the main characters are detailed and complex enough to be realistic. If you’re a fan of the ticking-biological-clock, need-a-baby-now subgenre of chick lit, you’ll enjoy this British take on the subject. Personally, I’m not a fan of this subgenre, but there are authors out there who can make it work for me. Sadly, this was not one of those times.

Rating: 4
August 2007
ISBN# 978-0-425-21557-9 (trade paperback)

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