Friday, July 02, 2010

A Bump in the Road: From Happy Hour to Baby Shower by Maureen Lipinski

I have made the comment recently that I read more fiction than non. After reading A Bump in the Road: From Happy Hour to Baby Shower by Maureen Lipinski, I think I need to clarify that statement.

I don't tend to finish fiction. Why? Because most of what I read is terrible. Bad plots, badly drawn characters, and the worst offense--authors who cannot put their main characters in peril. Fiction is supposed to be cathartic, allow readers to experience things we would be too scared to otherwise or would never have the opportunity to. Nothing irritates me more than when an author is too gentle with the plot for the sake of the main character.

Yes, Stephanie Meyer, I am calling you out.

So lately, I have been gravitating towards memoir because it feels more authentic. However, Jen Lancaster made some fiction suggestions on her summer reading list. Looking for a change, I decided to try some out. First up was Lipinski's book, a story about a young woman in Chicago, still enjoying her marriage's honeymoon stage, who accidentally gets pregnant. The novel follows Claire through each trimester as she struggles with the sudden changes, the morning sickness, managing her life, and coming to terms with the fact that nothing will be the same again.

At first I struggled to get into the book. I found Claire to be silly and unrealistic (really, who can drink that much?), but once she got pregnant, I could relate to her much better. This novel reminded me of my own unexpected pregnancy in so many ways. This novel excels because it has just enough realism and outlandish moments combined.

Now, it's not perfect. There are some cliches, some characters who aren't fully developed (overbearing mother-in-law, perfectionist friend with bad marriage, slutty friend with heart of gold, etc.) But it's good enough for me to look forward to the sequel I requested from the library.

I recommend this book for non-literary snobs, especially women. I don't see guys getting into this. Well, it's not really for them anyways.

Hillary

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