I want to be as up front as possible with you before I start my review.
- I don’t normally read what I consider “chick lit.”
- I don’t normally read “chick lit” written by men.
- I wanted to like this book because the author wrote it for all the right reasons – a close friend died of breast cancer and he’s donating his proceeds to a charity.
- It did have a positive message about embracing your life today and letting go of anger because in the end stewing and feeling anger only hurt you.
- I didn’t like the book – if that upsets you please forgive me, and don’t read any further.
Part I of “All You Could Ask For” follows the very privileged, very wealthy, very well-educated, nearly perfect Brooke (who has “a great ass” eye roll #1 on page one), Samantha, and Katherine.
Brooke of the great ass is very happily married with twins (of course a boy and a girl) and living a charmed life in Greenwich Connecticut. Her husband is away a great deal but that’s OK. It leaves her time to lunch with the girls, see her colorist regularly, and take immaculate care of her home and children. As her husband’s fortieth birthday approaches she decides what he truly needs is nude photos of Brooke(artistic not smutty.)
Samantha is on her honeymoon in Hawaii when she finds naked photos on her husband’s laptop. His laptop had been password protected but she made a game of trying to break the code (no she wasn’t suspicious about what she would find, no she wasn’t concerned that she was breaking the law) she was just “playing a game.” After finding the naked woman in an email she leaves and takes an 18 mile jog (she’s in great shape!) and finds herself at another luxury hotel where she orders a fabulous plate of fruit, a phone and the hotel manager. When the manager arrives she explains that she doesn’t have her credit card but if she can have the phone she’ll call her very wealthy father who will, she is certain, foot the bill. She calls and he does. She then stays at the hotel for a month training for a triathlon.
Katherine is a Harvard grad with a dual degree in Law and Business who 20 years after a breakup can’t get over it, yet she works for the guy (Phillip “from the wrong side of the tracks – Brooklyn.) On her 40th birthday, her assistant Marie ”a stunningly pretty bimbo from Brooklyn” plans a birthday blind date for Katherine.
Katherine’s thoughts of Marie:
“I admire Marie for the exact reason I initially disliked her: she looks like a slut. She showed up her first day with an attitude-and an outfit-that seemed to make no secret of her intentions: she was here to find a man. Some women get an MRS degree from a prestigious university, but Marie was nowhere near smart enough for anything like that: she matriculated in to Wall Street instead, wearing too much blush and a skirt that barely concealed her pubic hair…” by the end of the year she was engaged to one of them I assumed that would be the last I ever saw of Marie’s stunning cleavage.”
The birthday blind date doesn’t go well. The guy was old he “had to be sixty years old.” She proceeds to ignore pretty much everything her date says during the date because when Marie described this man she said: “He is about the right age.” How dare Marie think Katherine would date such a man? How old does she think Katherine is? She lovingly describes her date as a senior citizen, she gets schnockerd and ignores his “blathering ” instead focusing on why she’s such a great catch and deserves better than this old guy.
“My skin looks fabulous, even around my eyes. I don’t see wrinkles, bags, crow’s-feet, dark circles, lines, frames, spots, or blemishes, and I haven’t even had anything done yet…I’m sure someday I’ll start getting all that help, and that will be fabulous. But for now I’m looking damn good, no matter what Marie seems to think. ”
I should have stopped there but I hoped that things would change.
Part II follows these women through their breast cancer diagnosis, plan of treatment, and their lives going forward. Each woman has a different form of breast cancer and follows a different path but find each other on a support website.
I warned you up front that I didn’t like the book so if you’ve read this so far and are upset with me “I warned you.” I found the book dull, and so full of stereotypes that I just couldn’t bear another Brooklyn slur. I asked someone “Is that truly how people from Greenwich think of the rest of the world?” Perhaps the problem with me was that there was such a disconnect between my world and theirs. It’s hard to understand a world where an 8-year-old has her make-up done the day of her parents vow renewal, but it seems that it’s even harder for them to grasp what the rest of the world fills their day with. And NO I’m not from Brooklyn but I happen to know some truly great people who live there and work in the city and don’t throw their cleavage around in order to find a man.
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