Saturday, February 1, 2014

What Nora Knew by Linda Yellin

I would consider my latest read, What Nora Knew by Linda Yellin, to be chick lit.  I am not usually a big fan of chick lit because I feel that books in this genre often lack substance.  While I certainly don't think that every book I read needs to be great literature, I also don't want to feel like I have wasted my time on fluff.  What Nora Knew wasn't like that.  It was fun and romantic and girly.  I knew while I was reading it that it would qualify as chick lit, but I really enjoyed it anyway.

Molly is a divorced magazine writer just on the verge of turning 40.  She has turned into quite the cynic when it comes to love and has stopped looking for anything truly special.  As a matter of fact, at the start of the book she is dating a man for whom all her friends and family believe she has settled.  He's nice; he's reliable; he has a good job and they get along well enough.  At one point she struggles with the thought that this man is the best she can do.  She actually asks, "Isn't somebody better than nobody?"  It makes me so sad to hear when a woman believes she should take whatever she can get.  Luckily for this book, there are plenty of strong female characters to make up for Molly's brief lack of backbone with this statement.  Later in the novel she redeems herself with: "I have long been an advocate of staying home with a good book over going out with a bad date."  That is much more along my line of thought.

So what does "Nora" have to do with it all?  Molly has been assigned to write about love in the style of Nora Ephron.  We've all seen When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle and those are to be Molly's inspiration for an article about falling and staying in love.  Sadly, Molly has lost all faith in that kind of love and so it becomes a difficult assignment for her.  In the meantime, she makes the acquaintance of a very popular crime novel author.  Each time she runs into Cameron Duncan, he is with a different woman and so she believes she knows all about him.  It is through him and through her article assignment that Molly learns far more about herself.  I enjoyed this book and I was always quick to get back to it.  It would make a nice beach read or if you are simply looking for something lighter and a little romantic. 

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